“The Homesman” is a 2014 Western, directed by Tommy Lee Jones, starring Hillary Swank (among others), and it deals with the aspects of living in the Old West that a lot of other Westerns choose to ignore: the hardships, the loneliness, the desperate fight to survive against the elements, hostile people, illness, and just general bad luck, it was no picnic in the middle of America in the middle of the 1800s, yet people were out there and they had to survive. This particular movie is about how two people band together to help transport three mentally ill women across an unforgiving landscape so they can get some help. Simple yet effective.
Tommy Lee Jones and Hillary Swank are both pretty fantastic in this movie, and the rest of the cast is filled with great, reliable actors like John Lithgow, James Spader, Meryl Streep, William Fichtner and Tim Blake Nelson, and some other roles are played by young, very promising actors like Jesse Plemons and Hailee Steinfeld, so there is no shortage of excellent acting. Tommy Lee Jones has a very simple and effective directorial style, no flashy moves or anything, just straightforward storytelling accompanied by excellent cinematography from Rodrigo Prieto. This is a well made movie in pretty much every way, it has some uncomfortable moments, some comedy, some tragedy, unexpected turns, and a poetic ending, and it all works pretty damn well.
Damn well is right. This is a strong movie, very simple but very effective, and I was surprised by how much I actually enjoyed it.