The Homesman (15)
by Tommy Lee Jones
From 28th November 2014
One reviewer reckoned that this film is the best Western released since
Clint Eastwood's 1992 masterpiece Unforgiven. I think not.
I admire Tommy Lee Jones a lot, even though as an actor he is often portrayed
in a similar gruff manner, but this movie is a big disappointment, with
too many stereotypical aspects. For instance, the Red Indians are portrayed
as being savages!
The major failing was the departure of Hilary Swank, portraying spinster
Mary Bee Cuddy, who took upon herself the task of escorting three mad
women from Nebraska to Ohio, who had suffered traumatic nervous breakdowns
through the hardship of frontier life. The manner in which her character
took no further participation in the movie was absurd.
George Briggs (Jones), an army deserter, who Bee Cuddy saved from certain
death, reluctantly helped in her task, but motivated by a $300 reward
awaiting for him at journey's end.
This anomaly was one of several scattered throughout The Homesman, which
made it appear far- fetched to say the least.
And as for Meryl Streep's misjudged cameo role at the end as the parson's
wife who takes delivery of the three women - five weeks of hardship, famine
and utter degradation during their trek throughout a barren terrain had
not blemished their sleek flowing hair! - it aptly summed up the absurd
nature of the film.
A redeeming feature, amid all the implausibilities, was the arresting
cinematography of Rodrigo Prieto (21 Grams, Brokeback Mountain).
If nothing else, his contribution is worth a viewing of The Homesman.