Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Homesman Review - 3 Stars

“The Homesman” has no intention to glorify the old West.  Tommy Lee Jones’ vision captures the dark loneliness and hard life of a community of people trying to settle the Nebraska territory.  Hilary Swank plays a homesteader hanging on to her optimism of a life on the frontier that will include marriage, music, and a good living.  Gradually we see those dreams fade.  Three other wives in the territory give in to depression and madness.  The town minister finds a church in the more settled Iowa willing to get the women help.   Someone must transport them.  The duty falls to Swank.  In typical movie style she comes upon Tommy Lee Jones hanging from a rope waiting for his horse to move forward breaking his neck.  She saves Jones and enrolls him in her mission.  “The Homesman” could have turned into another version of “The African Queen” or any other mismatched buddy movie.  Instead, it sticks with the loneliness and harshness of life in the old West.  It also serves up a shocking twist to back up that theme.  Jones and Swank have a spark that makes this surprisingly touching.  Does it deliver what it promises?  Mismatched buddy adventure.  Is it entertaining?  Fascinating to watch.  Is it worth the price of admission?  A small gem.