Country: USA / France
Movie Review: Tommy Lee Jones directs, stars, co-writes, and co-produces the confidently paced western-drama “The Homesman”, a film based on Glendan Starthout’s novel of the same name, where a brave, bossy spinster named Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank) offers herself to escort three insane women from Nebraska to Iowa, in a covered wagon. Realizing how tiresome and danger this long journey could be, she hires the aimless drifter George Briggs (Jones), to help her delivering the women safely to Ms. Carter (Meryl Streep), the benefactor wife of a minister. Along the way, we are subjected to good moments of tension, even if too brief. Threats and danger are everywhere, whether created by the appearance of spooky wild Indians, the kidnap of one woman who meanwhile had escaped from the wagon, or when Cuddy loses herself in the immense prairie while Briggs remained calm and unworried. Sporadic flashbacks show a few traumatizing moments in the lives of these poor women, guided by a goodhearted man who evinces Christian attitudes but also a desire of vengeance driven by the evilness of the various men that cross his path. “The Homesman” is a different western that surprised me a couple of times in moments where I wasn’t expecting, creating positive reactions and filling my eyes with its sharp, beautiful visuals, credit of the Mexican cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto (“Babel”, “Argo”, “The Wolf of Wall Street”). Tommy Lee Jones feels like fish in the water by embarking in a style he knows as the palm of his hands. Solidly conceived.