It seems like it's impossible to find a good western nowadays. With the exception of some fairly recent films like "Django Unchained" and "A Million Ways to Die in the West," Westerns have been virtually absent from mainstream culture. This is due to the fact that Westerns typically don't make an extravagant amount of money. That being said, they also don't typically cost as much money as your average blockbuster. Which means these films do end up making a profit most of the time. This is why the Western genre will never disappear completely.
If you're one of the millions of people who have a soft spot for cowboys and Indians, then you're in luck. Now, thanks to the brilliant talents of Tommy Lee Jones we have "The Homesman", perhaps the most provocative Western in the last 20 years.
"The Homesman" is not your average gunslinging, drawl-speaking Western. This is a dark, gritty, true-to-life adventure. This film does a magnificent job of accurately capturing the struggles of pioneer life. The film centers around three women who have been driven insane and are to be transported east across the country. Mary Bee Cuddy, (Hilary Swank) is the plain-looking, independent-minded woman charged with the task. Along with her reluctant companion, George Briggs (Tommy Lee Jones), Mary sets out on the covered wagon adventure of a lifetime.
Hilary Swank and Tommy Lee Jones are incredible together, talk about catching lightning in a bottle! They command the screen, and keep you glued to your seat for every minute. Half funny, half dark and tragic. The film shows that Jones has become a formidable director. Jones also wrote the screenplay which was inspired by the novel.
The film features appearances by Meryl Streep, James Spader, John Lithgow, and Jesse Plemons. If you're looking for a well constructed, self-aware film, then "The Homesman" is for you. You won't regret it.
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