The Homesman

The Homesman

Tommy Lee Jones (2014)

117min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Hilary Swank stars here as a feisty pioneer woman who volunteers to transport back to Iowa three women from her town who have all been driven mad by life on the Nebraska plains. Tommy Lee Jones (who also writes and directs) plays the shady claim-jumper she saves from hanging and press-gangs into accompanying her. So begins an arduous journey that's a kind of looking-glass western, where key constituents of the genre have been reversed. For example, it's mostly a woman-centric story, although a third-act shock changes the terms dramatically. Meanwhile, the geographical trajectory follows from west to east, from wilderness to civilisation, and that goes with the film's oblique critique of romantic ideas about the frontier. It's a tough-minded, intelligent movie, the kind John Wayne would probably have hated, and very much a 21st-century update for the form. Jones's direction is stylish and assured, and he generously gives Swank room to prove what a great actor she can be with the right material.

Summary

Premiere. A single woman living in a frontier town is asked by her church to escort three women traumatised by the hardships of their lives to a safe refuge in the East. Along the way, she saves an outlaw's life and persuades him to help her protect her charges on the perilous journey through the wilderness. Western based on the novel by Glendon Swarthout, directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones, with Hilary Swank, Meryl Streep and Miranda Otto.

Cast & Crew

George Briggs Tommy Lee Jones
Mary Bee Cuddy Hilary Swank
Altha Carter Meryl Streep
Arabella Sours Grace Gummer
Theoline Belknap Miranda Otto
Gro Svendsen Sonja Richter
Thor Svendsen David Dencik
Vester Belknap William Fichtner
Reverend Dowd John Lithgow
Freighter Tim Blake Nelson
Aloysius Duffy James Spader
Tabitha Hutchinson Hailee Steinfeld
Buster Shaver Barry Corbin
Bob Giffen Evan Jones
Garn Sours Jesse Plemons
Director Tommy Lee Jones
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Other Information

Language: English / DanishColourTheatrical distributor: Entertainment OneGuidance: Violence, sex scenes, nudityAvailable on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 21 Nov 2014
Drama