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Tom Hanks and Caleb Landry Jones (as Jeff the robot) in 'Finch,' premiering globally November 5 on Apple TV+.

Tom Hanks really could do anything. It doesn’t matter how stripped down or complex his narratives are. (Have you seen Cloud Atlas?) The man can carry a movie and punctuate it in a way that makes your heart feel heavier. You may have more of a pep in your step. The air may travel to your lungs more satisfyingly. As silly and extreme as it all sounds, his work has a lasting impact. 

Hanks’ latest, Finch — about a robot and its dying creator trying to prepare their beloved dog for survival in a post-apocalyptic world — tugs at your heartstrings and widens your smile to a near-permanent position. It’s a thrilling, relatable and genuinely sweet tale that encapsulates thoughts about our purpose and the little things that keep our heart machine going. There’s nothing here that’s not wonderfully realized and lovingly presented. 

It’s like imagining the relationship between Hanks’ character in Cast Away and his best buddy, Wilson the volleyball, blown out to an entire movie. Only Wilson can talk and cause Hanks’ character (and the audience) to realize things just as a small child filled with wonder and imagination would. They have conversations along their journey that lead you to stop and say, “Aw, shucks. I need to be living more simply and finding peace, joy and contentment with where I am in life.” 

The story doesn’t try to twist anything too far or load it up with an unbearable amount of beliefs or subtext. It’s a simple film that drops you into a specific scenario, immerses you in its stark landscape and makes you want to adopt the characters to be part of your life. Some could argue that the movie trips itself up with its own sentimentality. However, for me, it hits the right spot. I adored it. 

Q&A

Ahead of Finch’s release on Apple TV+ this weekend, Preston Barta of the Denton Record-Chronicle spoke with director Miguel Sapochnik (Game of Thrones and the upcoming House of the Dragon) about the film’s themes of fatherhood and how our goals and dreams evolve. Enjoy the five-minute video discussion below, and stream Finch to go on this introspective journey with your loved ones leading into the season of togetherness. 

PRESTON BARTA is a member of the Critics Choice Association and the Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association. Read his work here, on FreshFiction.tv and on RottenTomatoes.com. Follow him on Twitter at @PrestonBarta.

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