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Well that's some good old-fashioned westerning right there. This is the European trailer for The Homesman, where Tommy Lee Jones plays another one of his plainspoken, bitter old men. In this trailer, he's moments from death before Hilary Swank saves him, and basically says, "Have I got a job for you!" The task? Escort three crazed, mentally unstable women across state lines.
Some of you are thinking, "Eh, good porno plot." But in fact, this is the exact opposite, if reviews from Cannes are any indication. This is about the plight of pioneer women in the west basically being discarded, unwanted. The beliefs were (and, in some places, still are) that if a woman were infertile and not of sound mind, she was as useless as can be, and needed to be sent away to somewhere, anywhere. One suspects from this trailer that Ms. Swank's character has a similar affliction, or at least a similar secret. This is dark material. Coen brothers dark, which means maybe there's some humor, but it ain't pleasant humor.
This is Jones' second film as a director, and he's lined up a helluva cast. In addition to him and two-time Oscar winner Swank, he's got Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto and Sonja Richter as the three troubled women. Beyond that, things get real loaded: John Lithgow, Tim Blake Nelson, William Fichtner, Jesse Plemons and Ultron himself James Spader are onboard. The trailer also kind of distractingly reveals that Hailee Steinfeld and Meryl Streep are in this in what looks like small cameos. Jones, Wesley Oliver and Kieran Fitzgerald adapted the screenplay from the novel by Glendon Swarthout, and it should prove good follow-up material after Jones' debut, the moody The Three Burials Of Melquiadas Estrada.
In case you recognize the music at the end of this Homesman clip, it's because it's pretty darn familiar. That's "Hace Tuto Guagua" by the band Familion, which closed out director-turned-Batman Ben Affleck's Argo. The Homesman has a release date of November 7th, which places it thick in the heat of Oscar season. Showing off a connection, however superficial, with a past Best Picture winner has got to be at least a little helpful. Could a Best Picture or Best Director Oscar be in the works for Mr. Jones? Let's just hope the movie is as interesting, dark and complex as it seems first. Little gold men can wait.