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Tom Hanks stars in 'News of the World': Heartwarming or Problematic?

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  • Tip Bones

Directed by Paul Greengrass of the Bourne franchise and Captain Philips, News of the World follows the classic western format. Tom Hanks stars as Captain Kidd; a stand-up guy and a Civil War, Confederate veteran who agrees to take a girl across the country to her aunt and uncle. The girl is found along side a black man who had been lynched, she was kidnapped by the Kiowa tribe (those who took her in also died) and Captain Kidd decides it's his duty to return her to her family.

The movie hits every plot point you would expect. The young girl named Johanna (played by Helena Zengel) is hesitant at first and doesn't want to go with Kidd but the two eventually form a bond with Kidd growing fond of the child and becoming her protector. James Newton Howard's score helps the emotional moments swell as he always does and the visuals are stunning. The movie takes a look at someone on the losing side of the war and tries to show the humanity in everyone.

However, there are those that think the movie may send the wrong message. The natives are treated as villains stealing white children from their family while the black characters all by the wayside and the lynching is just an afterthought. It almost frames the lynching as a positive because at least Kidd is able to save the poor white girl from her captors due to it. The movie is set to release Christmas 2020, If it's safe to go to a theater where you live, you can make the decision for yourself: is it heartwarming or problematic?