Earlier in the week, a Trailer dropped for News of the World, a longtime presumed Oscar frontrunner for this year. Starring Tom Hanks, he reunites with filmmaker Paul Greengrass for a movie that seems to check all of the Academy Award boxes. Period piece? Check. Big star? Check. Timely aspects? Check. It all lines up for something voters may not be able to resist. However, it had been a bit of a mystery, until now. At the end of this post, you can of course see the Trailer, but first, why don’t we learn a little bit more about the flick?

The film is a drama with a Western vibe. This is the official long log-line from Universal Pictures: “This Christmas, Universal Pictures is proud to present Tom Hanks starring in News of the World, a moving story written and directed by Paul Greengrass, reuniting for the first time with his star from their 2013 Best Picture nominee Captain Phillips. Five years after the end of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd (Hanks), a widower and veteran of three wars, now moves from town to town as a non-fiction storyteller, sharing the news of presidents and queens, glorious feuds, devastating catastrophes, and gripping adventures from the far reaches of the globe. In the plains of Texas, he crosses paths with Johanna (Helena Zengel, System Crasher), a 10-year-old taken in by the Kiowa people six years earlier and raised as one of their own. Johanna, hostile to a world she’s never experienced, is being returned to her biological aunt and uncle against her will. Kidd agrees to deliver the child where the law says she belongs. As they travel hundreds of miles into the unforgiving wilderness, the two will face tremendous challenges of both human and natural forces as they search for a place that either can call home. News of the World is directed by Greengrass (the Bourne films, United 93) from his screenplay with Luke Davies (Lion), based on the National Book Award finalist and best-selling novel by Paulette Jiles. The film is produced by Gary Goetzman (Mamma Mia! franchise, Greyhound), Gail Mutrux (The Danish Girl, Donnie Brasco) and Gregory Goodman (22 July, 8 Mile). The executive producers are Steven Shareshian and Tore Schmidt. The film’s music is by eight-time Academy Award® nominee James Newton Howard.”

This Trailer seems to hit all of the marks an awards contender needs to hit. The only thing remaining to be seen is if it does so in a way that voters shrug off or are affected by. Right now, it’s impossible to know, though what we see here is promising. Watching Hanks in this sort of role will definitely have appeal, while it’s hard not to trust Greengrass implicitly. We’ll see for sure when the film comes out on Christmas (which seems like a date that Universal is committing to), but for now, this should definitely stay in any and all sets of Oscar predictions…

Here now is the Trailer for News of the World:

Stay tuned for more on News of the World!

(Photos courtesy of Universal Pictures)