The Homesman (15)

Directed by Tommy Lee Jones
Picturehouse, Liverpool
From 28th November 2014

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

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.

Printer friendly page

Sorry Comments Closed