A revelation. A harsh, yet engaging and moving story, shot in equally hard yet beautiful style by Tommy Lee Jones and cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto. Swank is outstanding and praise for the score is deserved. If it is a "western" then, outside The Assassination of Jesse James, it's arguably the best one that's been made since Unforgiven. One of the top films of the 2010s that I've seen. Highly recommended.
A gorgeous and distinctly post-modern take on the classic Western story that never hides its influences. Jones' masterful adaptation leaves us with a beautiful meditation on prairie madness, responsibility, and redemption, among other things. The story is simple, but the effect is long-lasting. Camera work and soundtrack are harsh, but calm and beautiful - superb, really. One of the finest Westerns in decades.
Strong adaptation of the Glendon Swarthout novel that finds a spinster accompanying three madwomen from the prairie frontier back east on an arduous journey in the company of an aged 'homesman'. Swank and Jones are both quite spellbinding here as are the three madwomen in near silent roles (Gummer, Otto and Richter). The feminist aspects of the story are very interesting as is the concept of unasked for redemption.
Instead of "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada," an intoxicating review of Peckinpah's films, especially "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia", this western follows a "classic" model that sometimes approaches Eastwood's acclaimed academism and sometimes is terrible - the opening credits postcards or the music - but also can find a speech of its own and be singular. Ends with the devil dancing in Charon's boat.
I would love to sit down and have a conversation w/ Tommy Lee Jones, not something I can say of many contemporary actors-turned-director (Elaine May, of course, if she counts). He seems to know a great deal about the hard beauty of human existence for a guy who has been paid so much for so long doing serviceable work of little consequence. Some real deep insights in The Homesman concerning how we grieve (or don't).