1870 Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels from city to city, sharing news from around the world, as well as stories of presidents and queens, great battles and devastating disasters.
On the plains of Texas, his path intersects with ten-year-old Joanna, who was abducted by the Kiowa tribe and raised in the traditions of an Indian commune for the past six years. Kidd agrees to take the girl to the home of her uncle and aunt, the only surviving relatives. Traversing hundreds of miles through harsh wilderness, these two will face both natural disasters and human brutality in search of a place to call their home.
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There are directors who radically change genres. But is the reverse situation possible, when the genre changes the director? Based on the novel by Paulette Giles, News From All Over the World is a worthy example of a western-style adventure film. The “Western” genre serves not so much as a way to attract the attention of the audience, but as a background for the relationship of the characters: this is probably the case when the western captured the mind and changed the worldview of a politically engaged director, in this case – Paul Greengrass. Paternalistic captain Kyle Kidd and ten-year-old girl Joanna (Johanna) meet by the will of fate, and the simple story of their acquaintance turns into a fascinating journey that makes you remember old, but no less worthy Hollywood productions.
News takes place in Texas in 1870. Ah, the Old West: everyone carries a revolver, the Indians rip the scalps off the locals, and the former, restless Confederate soldiers roam the districts. One of them is Kidd, who travels from city to city and, suddenly, has chosen a strange occupation for himself: he reads newspapers to peizans, i.e. informs about what is happening in the country as a whole. Crowds of isolated townspeople admire Kidd’s charisma and are ready to pay their hard-earned dimes for the opportunity to hear the very news from around the world, especially since the former Confederate captain knows how to lure the audience. On one of his travels, the protagonist meets Joanna. At the age of four, she was abducted by the Indians, killing the girl’s real parents. She was raised in the tribe for six years. Since no one wants to take responsibility for a “twice orphaned” child, Kidd must deliver Joanna to her uncle and aunt. The situation is complicated by the fact that the girl does not know English, perceives her current situation as abduction, and she herself is not the most pleasant fellow travelers.
Naturally, thanks to the laws of the genre, Kidd and Joanna find a common language during their adventure. They develop an elementary form of communication, which develops into a relationship between a daughter and a father. All this is conveyed in a western format: dashing bandits, insidious Indians, provincial towns and the general spirit of mediation travel. As the heroes go through one mortal danger after another, it strengthens their personalities. Of course, the main merit here is on the actors: nobility is in Tom Hanks’ blood, and his chemistry with Helen Sengel is light and unconstrained. Captain Kidd is by and large a clichÃ©d character: a rude military officer whose hardened heart is melted by the plight of a child. Nevertheless, it is in the western format that it works, not slipping into copying “Iron Grip”, but allows it to work exactly as a full-fledged work.
“News from all over the world” is not replete with action, but nevertheless the tape is realized with elements inherent in the genre that can dilute the narrative and rive the viewer’s attention. In particular, we are talking about the scene in which Kidd and Joanna take a fight with the bandits. In another case, the nobility inherent in the main character plunges him into conflict with the despotic ruler of one settlement. Instead of making these moments episodes of a road trip, Greengrass reinforces them, builds them into a film, and then places the relationship of the central characters on these plot bricks.
From a technical point of view, News From All Over the World is reminiscent of old Western films. Cinematographer Dariusz Wolski seemed to have grown up on projects by John Ford: even when the characters are shot in close-up, they always find themselves against the backdrop of the vast, endless expanse of the Wild West. Editing sets a pace unusual for Greengrass, but it works: especially in moments of intense action.
It would seem, how can you make a simple story about saving a child, reading the news (!) And all this with a cunning director fascinating? It turned out that it is possible that “News from all over the world” not only corresponds to the canons of a Western, but to everything else: it is no wonder that Europeans, including Greengrass and you and I, find themselves captured by the endless hypnotizing spaces of the West. An emotionally attractive way to fill this endless void and learn new things – each of us would like to be at that time and place where there is still a place for the unknown and the opportunity to discover something new. “News from all over the world” provides such an opportunity.
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
English: Dolby Atmos
English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0
French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
English SDH, French, Spanish.