The Homesman

Tommy Lee Jones’ The Homesman is the newest film I’ve blogged about so far. I caught this little gem on Amazon Prime and watched it on TV. Although visually I think it would command a big screen.

The film stars and is directed by Jones, like his previous directorial debut The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, which is also worth searching out. Hilary Swank is the lead actress in the piece and she’s very good. Jones himself is very good too, but his direction and control of his own performance (which becomes the centre of the film) is very impressive.

This film deserves to be watched again and again. It’s telling that the film is produced by Luc Besson and this feels very European in the way that old fashioned westerns from the 40s and 50s (directed by Europeans) do too.

Jones as a director feels like a more balanced Peckinpah at his best. The film had a fairly low budget and I’ve heard that it didn’t even make that money back, but I feel this film has a life that may stretch long into the future, beyond the box office hits of today.

The photography and music is great too, and look out for James Spader…

So, 57 films to go…
Matthew Cooper has written for Emmerdale, Eastenders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs. He was winner of the first ever Lloyds Bank Channel Four Film Challenge and the Oscar Moore Screenplay Prize. His first short film starred a then unknown Ewan McGregor and was picked up by Channel Four when Matthew was 19 years old. He’s been a script writer for hire and filmmaker for hire for over 20 years.