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News of the World Poster.jpg
Find Where You Belong
Directed By
Produced By
Elizabeth Gabler
Gary Goetzman
Gregory Goodman
Tom Hanks
Gail Mutrux
Screenplay By
Luke Davies
Paul Greengrass
Based on
News of the World
by Paulette Jiles
Cast
Tom Hanks
Helena Zengel
Edited By
William Goldenberg
Cinematography
Dariusz Wolski
Music By
James Newton Howard
Studio
Playtone
Pretty Pictures
Distributed By
Country
United States
Language
English
Release Date
December 25, 2020 (United States)
February 10, 2021 (Netflix)
Runtime
118 minutes
Rating
PG-13
Budget
$38 million
Gross
$12.7 million


News of the World is a 2020 American coming-to-age western action drama movie directed by Paul Greengrass with the screenplay by Greengrass and Mr Luke Davies. It is based off this 2016 novel has been same name by Paulette Jiles. It stars Tom Hanks and Helena Zengel. The film follows an aging Civil War veteran who must return a young girl who was taken in by the Kiowa and raised as one of them, to her last remaining family. She had lost both her birth and Kiowa families.

Plot[]

In 1870, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, a former Confederate soldier who served in the 3rd Texas Infantry, makes a living traveling town to town reading newspapers to local residents for ten cents per person. Following an evening of news reading, Kidd sets out for his next location and comes across an overturned wagon on the road. Investigating, he finds the body of a lynched black freedman and a live young white girl named Cicada (Johanna, according to her papers), dressed in Native American clothing and speaking Kiowa. After an encounter with a Union Army patrol, Kidd is instructed to take the girl to Union officials at an outpost in a town up the road, where they will sort out her Bureau of Indian Affairs paperwork and return her to her surviving family. Reluctantly, Kidd acquiesces to the request.

At the checkpoint, Kidd is informed that the outpost's Bureau of Indian Affairs representative won't be available for three months. Seeking shelter with an old war comrade of his, Kidd reads the news, and, upon returning, he accepts responsibility for taking Johanna to her surviving family after she tries to run away with a band of traveling Native Americans. As they venture out, they have difficulty communicating due to speaking different languages. Kidd stops at a local inn/diner and greets an old acquintance, who speaks Kiowa and speaks briefly to the child. Kidd spends the night with the woman before resuming his journey. The situation worsens the next night when Kidd is confronted by three ex-Confederate soldiers who try to purchase Johanna from him. He declines, but after being briefly detained by Union soldiers for confronting Kidd, the three men pursue him, leading to a shootout in the wilderness during which Johanna and Kidd are able to outsmart and kill their pursuers.

Entering the next county, they encounter a large group of abusive, racist militiamen led by Farley, essentially the "dictator" of the group, who has taken over the county and demands Kidd perform a reading from a "newspaper" he wrote that glorifies him. Kidd instead reads a story about a disaster in a Pennsylvania coal mine that whips Farley's workers into a rebellious fury; he and Johanna escape in the ensuing melee. Farley stops Kidd before he can escape. Kidd is beaten and when he refuses to read Farley's newspaper, Farley prepares to shoot him. Johanna has sneaked away and shoots Farley with Kidd's shotgun. She aims at Farley's henchman, but is out of bullets. As she is about to get shot, a man named John Calley, inspired by Kidd, shoots the henchman as well as Farley and saves them. In the aftermath, after riding briefly with Kidd and Johanna , Calley joins another party, handing Kidd his gun. Kidd and Johanna continue towards San Antonio to locate Johanna's surviving family.

As they continue their journey, their wagon is soon wrecked when the horse inexplicably bolts and the wagon and horse both crash down a ravine. Kidd shoots the dying horse, leaving Johanna and Kidd no choice but to continue on foot. They nearly die of thirst and heat stroke before, after encountering a brief dust storm, Johanna obtains a horse from Kiowa tribesmen walking nearby.

Kidd and Johanna eventually reach her aunt and uncle's farmstead, the former revealing that Johanna's parents had struck out on their own and moved to the Hill Country, where the land would be cheaper; they were killed in a Kiowa raid. Kidd reluctantly leaves Johanna with them and returns to his hometown of San Antonio. He visits the grave of his wife, Maria Luisa Betancourt Kidd, who died from cholera in 1865 while he was serving in the Army. Now without any kin, he mournfully leaves his wedding ring and a locket on her tombstone.

Kidd then decides to ride back to the village where he left Johanna, where he discovers that her relatives tied her to a pole for trying to run away. Asking for forgiveness, Kidd tells Johanna (in Kiowa) that she belongs with him. Johanna accepts and her aunt and uncle let them go. In an epilogue, Kidd reads the papers in another town assisted by Johanna, his adopted daughter.

Cast[]

  • Tom Hanks as Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd
  • Helena Zengel as Johanna Leonberger
  • Michael Covino as Ron Avalon
  • Fred Hechinger as Thomas Kidd
  • Neil Sandilands as Wilhelm Leonberger
  • Thomas Francis Murphy as Merritt Farley
  • Mare Winningham as Doris Boudlin
  • Elizabeth Marvel as Ella Garrett
  • Chukwudi Iwuji as Charles Edgefield
  • Ray McKinnon as Simon Boudlin
  • Bill Camp as Willie Branholme

Production[]

In May 2017, Fox 2000 Pictures bought distribution rights to an adaptation of the Paulette Jiles novel with Luke Davies writing the screenplay and Tom Hanks set to star. In February 2019, Paul Greengrass was announced as director. As a result of the Disney/Fox merger, the film was transferred to Universal Pictures. In August, Helena Zengel, Michael Covino, and Fred Hechinger were added to the cast, and Thomas Francis Murphy joined in September. Filming commenced on September 2, 2019, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Kiowa Tribe member Dorothy WhiteHorse coached Zengel in the Kiowa language and other details of Native American life and behavior, while Tribal Chairman Matthew Komalty praised the film's crew for their attention to accuracy.

In November 2020, Netflix bought the international distribution rights to the film (excluding the United States).

Release Date[]

This film has been release in December 25, 2020 on theatrical release, which was followed by a Premium video on demand (PVOD) release in the United States on January 15, 2021. It originally was going to be released by Fox 2000 Pictures. In November 2020, it was announced that Netflix had acquired international distribution rights, except for the United States and China, and released it digitally on its streaming service on February 10, 2021.

Home Media[]

On March 2, 2021 Universal Pictures Home Entertainment officially announced the release date of News of the World to physical media, including Blu-ray Disc, 4k Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc, and DVD, would be March 23, 2021.

Reception[]


Box office[]

In the United States, News of the World, released alongside Wonder Woman 1984, Promising Young Woman, and Pinocchio, was projected to gross around $4 million from 1,900 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $1.05 million on its first day, and went on to debut to $2.3 million, finishing second at the box office behind Wonder Woman 1984; 70% of the audience was over the age of 35.

The film fell 25% in its second weekend, grossing $1.7 million, then made $1.24 million in its third weekend.

Critical response[]

Review aggregator website, Rotten Tomatoes reports that 88% of 255 reviews of the film were positive, with an average rating of 7.4/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "News of the World takes a slow but absorbing ride down a comfortingly familiar Western trail, guided by Tom Hanks in peak paternal mode." According to Metacritic, which sampled 45 critics and calculated a weighted average score of 73 out of 100, the film received "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.

Writing for IndieWire, David Ehrlich gave the film a grade of B and said, "If Greengrass' broadly entertaining (if gallingly relevant) film is a bit too soft and spread thin to hit with the emotional force that it could, so much of its simple power is owed to the grounded nature of the director's approach, which allows these desperate characters to feel as if they're trying to escape the very genre that threatens to define them forever."

A.A. Dowd of The A.V. Club gave the film a "B–" and wrote:"Ultimately, News Of The World lives and dies on the presence of its iconic headliner, on the Hanks of it all. That's the most old-fashioned thing about it: It's a true star vehicle, practically a tribute to his enduring appeal. Yet for as comforting as Hanks is in the role, and for as much as he sells the poignancy of the film's bittersweet final stretch, the film feels almost too built around his signature nobility to ever gain much in the way of actual drama."

Mark Kermode of The Observer awarded the film 4/5 stars and wrote, "Having emerged from news documentaries to become a peerless director of vivid real-life dramas (Bloody Sunday, United 93) and frenetically visceral adventures (The Bourne franchise), Greengrass relishes the opportunity to take a more languorous attitude to character development and location, a quality that seems to have confounded some fans of the director’s more urgent fare. Yet I found this a rewarding and entertaining drama, heavy with the weight of the past, yet buoyed up by the possibilities of the future."

Contrasting views display the comments on the movie by Philipp Emberger, the critic of ORF, the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation: under the title "Helena Zengel Overpowering Tom Hanks", he describes her scenes as the highlights of the film, compared to Tom Hanks's solos that seem "arduously one-dimensional", concluding that "Tom Hanks delivers a lot of forgivingness, besides the Dad-vibes", which makes the film "a quiet and steady Western with elements of road-movie, beautiful pictures of landscapes, a relevant topic, lots of heart, and a star named Helena Zengel." Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film 2/5 stars, writing that although Hanks's "persona here is equable and easy-going, qualities which are of course necessary to his sympathetic brand identity, he doesn’t plausibly change in any dramatic way", and describing the film as a "handsomely shot but stolid and blandly self-satisfied western".

A.O Scott of The New York Times gave a similarly mixed review, writing that "this isn't a bad movie. The problem is that it's too nice a movie, too careful and compromised, as if its makers didn't trust the audience to handle the real news of the world."

Tom Gliatto of People named it the fifth best film of the year.

Awards[]

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
AARP's Movies for Grownups Awards March 28, 2021 Best Actor Tom Hanks Nominated
Best Screenwriter Paul Greengrass and Luke Davies Nominated
Academy Awards April 25, 2021 Best Cinematography Dariusz Wolski Nominated
Best Original Score James Newton Howard Nominated
Best Production Design David Crank and Elizabeth Keenan Nominated
Best Sound Oliver Tarney, Mike Prestwood Smith, William Miller, and John Pritchett Nominated
American Society of Cinematographers Awards April 18, 2021 Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Theatrical Releases Dariusz Wolski Nominated
Art Directors Guild Awards April 10, 2021 Excellence in Production Design for a Period Film David Crank Nominated
British Academy Film Awards April 11, 2021 Best Cinematography Dariusz Wolski Nominated
Best Original Music James Newton Howard Nominated
Best Production Design David Crank and Elizabeth Keenan Nominated
Best Sound Michael Fentum, William Miller, Mike Prestwood Smith, John Pritchett, and Oliver Tarney Nominated
Cinema Audio Society Awards April 17, 2021 Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Motion Picture – Live Action John Patrick Pritchett, Mike Prestwood Smith, William Miller, Shawn Murphy, Mark DeSimone, and Adam Fil Méndez Nominated
Critics' Choice Awards March 7, 2021 Best Picture News of the World Nominated
Best Actor Tom Hanks Nominated
Best Young Actor/Actress Helena Zengel Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Luke Davies and Paul Greengrass Nominated
Best Cinematography Dariusz Wolski Nominated
Best Production Design David Crank and Elizabeth Keenan Nominated
Best Score James Newton Howard Nominated
Golden Globe Awards February 28, 2021 Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Helena Zengel Nominated
Best Original Score James Newton Howard Nominated
Hollywood Critics Association Awards March 5, 2021 Best Cinematography Dariusz Wolski Nominated
Best Score James Newton Howard Nominated
Hollywood Music in Media Awards January 27, 2021 Best Original Score in a Feature Film Won
Motion Picture Sound Editors Golden Reel Awards April 16, 2021 Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Feature Underscore Arabella Winter, David Olson, and Jim Weidman Nominated
Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Feature Dialogue/ADR Oliver Tarney, Rachael Tate and Anna MacKenzie Nominated
Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Feature Effects/Foley Oliver Tarney, Mike Fentum, Kevin Penney, Dawn Gough, Hugo Adams, Sue Harding, Andrea King, and Oliver Ferris Nominated
Satellite Awards February 15, 2021 Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Helena Zengel Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Luke Davies and Paul Greengrass Nominated
Best Cinematography Dariusz Wolski Nominated
Best Original Score James Newton Howard Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards April 4, 2021 Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role Helena Zengel Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture News of the World Nominated
Set Decorators Society of America Awards March 31, 2021 Best Achievement in Décor/Design of a Period Feature Film Elizabeth Keenan and David Crank Nominated
Visual Effects Society Awards April 6, 2021 Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature Roni Rodrigues, Dayaliyah Lopez, Ian Fellows, Andrew Morley, and Brandon K. McLaughlin Nominated
Writers Guild of America Awards March 21, 2021 Best Adapted Screenplay Luke Davies and Paul Greengrass Nominated

Videos[]

See Also[]

  • Olive Oatman[1]