News of the World (2021)
IMDb rating: 6.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 88%
Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd (Tom Hanks), a Civil War veteran, scrapes together a living by travelling from town to town in the 1870s and reading the newspaper to working-class audiences, bringing them stories from around the US and the world. During his travels through Texas, his path crosses with that of 10-year-old Johanna, an orphan who needs to be taken to her aunt and uncle’s home across the state.
Johanna can’t speak English, and has spent most of her life with the Kiowa people after the death of her parents and younger sister. Captain Kidd has no choice but to make sure she gets to her German kinfolk safely, and so takes her along with him on his journey.
As the unlikely pair face danger at literally every turn, from raging dust storms to vengeful and violent villains and broken wagon wheels, they start to form a tentative bond, despite the fact that, with every passing day, they are getting closer to the time when they’ll have to go their separate ways.
Observer (UK) says, “I found this a rewarding and entertaining drama, heavy with the weight of the past, yet buoyed up by the possibilities of the future,” and The Jewish Chronicle describes News of the World as a “no-frills adventure”.
Look out for South African Neil Sandilands, who plays Bernoldus in the Showmax Original DAM as Johanna’s uncle, Wilhelm Leonberger.
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