Until now, Tommy Lee Jones has only served as a director twice since his debut with 1995's The Good Old Boys. Even then, there has only been one of his films that actually garnered a release outside of television, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, which came a full decade after his first. Jones has clearly always had an affinity for westerns (perhaps it's the native Texan in him), bringing an Old West sensibility to a number of projects almost by default, so when he's put in charge of something set to evoke all the strains and atmosphere of frontier living, it is almost certainly worth a look.
The Homesman sees Hilary Swank star as Mary Bee Cuddy, an independent and resourceful frontier woman in the American West of the mid 1800s, who accepts the task of transporting three women across the barren country to a safe haven after they've been declared insane. Early into the journey, Mary Bee stumbles across a left for dead claim-jumper George Briggs (played by Jones himself) hanging from a noose, and saves his life in exchange for his assistance in escorting the three troubled women.
The short trailer released clearly gives a great sense of the barren landscape of the film, brought dusty and hard life with a raw kind of beauty. Although, it is certainly interesting to note the apparent sense of almost comedic tone that comes across just from the style of editing. Whether that's actually the case for the film itself, or simply a concession made to the short running time of the trailer remains to be seen. However, what we know for sure is that The Homesman displays some wonderful visuals, and has an absolute embarrassment of riches in onscreen talent, in the shape of Swank, Jones, John Lithgow and Meryl Streep.
Yeah, I'm looking forward to this one.