Tuesday, 17 February 2015

DVD Review - The Homesman

The Homesman
Director: Tommy Lee Jones
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Hilary Swank
Studio: LionsGate
Release Date: February 17, 2015
Retail: $19.98
Running Time: 123 minutes
Rating: R
Buy Link: Amazon


Arriving on DVD and Blu-ray today is the critically-acclaimed western-drama The Homesman. The film stars Tommy Lee Jones (whom also co-wrote and directs the film), Hilary Swank, Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto, Sonja Richter and Meryl Streep. Special Features include 3 in-depth behind-the-scenes featurettes - Origins, Shooting The Film and Beyond The Western.

Based on the novel of the same name by Glendon Swarthout. The Homesman centers on a 31-year-old spinster, Mary Bee Cuddy (played by Hilary Swank), whom traveled from New York to Loup City, Nebraska Territory. She successfully runs a small ranch, but she has had trouble finding a husband as men rejected her because she is too "plain".

Hilary Swank ("Mary Bee Cuddy") stars in Lionsgate Home Entertainment's THE HOMESMAN. 

The land has been very harsh to the residents, and three women, Arabella Sours (played by Grace Gummer), Theoline Belknapp (played by Miranda Otto), and Gro Svendsen (played by Sonja Richter), have had an extremely hard life and all them have gone insane. One was raped by her husband, one lost her child to diphtheria and one even killed her own child. Reverend Dowd (played by John Lithgow) decides that the women should be sent to a church in Hebron, Iowa that takes in women with mental illnesses. At first he asks for one of the husbands to escort the women, but Mary Bee volunteers to take on the dreadful task.

On her way to retrieve the women, Mary Bee finds a homesman, George Briggs (played by Tommy Lee Jones), sitting on his horse under a tree with a noose around his neck. He was caught trying to steal someone's land and was left to die until Mary Bee saves him and in return he promises to help her escort the the three women to Iowa.

Tommy Lee Jones ("George Briggs") and Hilary Swank ("Mary Bee Cuddy") star in Lionsgate Home Entertainment's THE HOMESMAN.

Westerns films is a dying genre in Hollywood with only a few movies being released every five years or so. And I'm not referring to the low-budget direct-to-DVD films that are released several times a year. To me, the last "good" western was the 2010 remake of True Grit. I heard good things about The Homesman around the time it had a limited release in theaters last year, therefore I was looking forward to watching the film on DVD. This isn't your typical western as it is a lot darker and it shows how tough it was for women in the 1800s. The entire cast gives great performances and Tommy Lee Jones does a wonderful job directing this psychological drama. Overall, The Homesman is a gritty, realistic western; not exactly what I would call a classic western, but close to it.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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