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78. News Of The World; movie review

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Title : 78. News Of The World; movie review
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Cert 12A
118 mins
BBFC advice: Contains moderate violence, threat, sexual threat, racism, bloody images

If Tom Hanks has given a bad performance or been in a bad film it must have been a long long time ago or I must have missed it.
A Hanks film is an event. His presence is an assurance of quality and even if it doesn't hit the heights of Philadelphia, Captain Phillips or Sully, News of The World is worth watching just for him.
The fact that he teams up with director Paul Greengrass adds to the allure.
I thought I had seen every type of character the Wild West could conjure but Hanks's Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd is different from any other.
Kidd is a newsreader - drifting from town to town in post-civil war Texas to read to the world's news to "hard-working folk".
He entices them by telling them: "Maybe just for tonight, we can escape our troubles and hear of the great changes that are happening out there."
And they lap up his stories - even though some of them are so horrific I would imagine them more likely to prompt nightmares than a right good giggle.
Kidd is a former Texan army captain and has his own reasons for ploughing a lone furrow far from home.
However, his solitude is invaded when he finds a young girl (Helena Zengel) apparently alone in the bush after a wagon ambush.
The girl is blonde and pale but doesn't speak or understand English and it becomes clear that she has spent most of her life with a native tribe.
Anyway, the upstanding captain tries to do right by her and takes her to a nearby town only to be told she cannot be taken in.
Consequently, the unlikely duo find themselves trying to survive in Texas where law has yet to establish itself fully after the war.
News Of the World paints a hair-raising picture of the late 19th century with Hanks playing a trademark character - trying to keep his head when all around them are losing theirs.
Newcomer Zengel impresses as his young charge who graduates from feral to more thoughtful.
I have not read the novel upon which it is based so I cannot judge how good the adaptation is but I can say that as a standalone movie, it is worth two hours of anyone's time.
Is Hanks good enough to be in the Oscar reckoning? Isn't he always?

Reasons to watch: Tom Hanks
Reasons to avoid: Not quite as impactful as his classic

Laughs: None
Jumps: None
Vomit: None
Nudity: None
Overall rating: 8/10

Did you know? 
German actress Helena Zengel said she had never heard of Tom Hanks before she had been cast in the role of Johanna.

The final word. Paul Greengrass: "In the end, it's about the healing power of storytelling and the healing power of belonging. When I read the novel, Paulette Jiles' News of the World, I knew I wanted to make a film of it. And Tom was just literally perfect for the part. Truly, literally perfect." Screen Rant

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