Movie Diary 1/5/2021

News of the World (Paul Greengrass, 2020). Hanks as a traveling “news reader” in the old west, stuck with temporary custody of a little girl (the eerie Helena Zengel) kidnapped by Indians years before. The storyline is so formulaic it is downright soothing, and Greengrass calms his usual jittery style to let a kind of frontier plainness carry the day.

Some Kind of Heaven (Lance Oppenheim, 2020). A documentary inside The Villages, that Disneyesque community for older people in Florida. Fascinating subject, and the people we meet are compelling, although the movie quickly becomes a character study of four particular folks, who would be interesting whether or not they were in The Villages. The film is so busy creating Herzog-by-way-of-Errol-Morris visual strategies that it doesn’t delve into the place’s renowned Trump enthusiasm. The faces are memorable, anyway, and the streaks of desperation that emerge are straight out of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

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