Unusual Western features two of Hollywood’s finest

The Homesman presented by Eastbourne Film Society at the Curzon cinema
The Homesman presented by Eastbourne Film Society at the Curzon cinema
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The current season of films at the Curzon Cinema presented by the Eastbourne Film Society with seats available for the public has showcased a number of outstanding performances by actresses.

This will again be the case next Wednesday, February 24, when the Society screens The Homesman. In this film the award-winning actress Hilary Swank is memorable and at the top of her form.

The Homesman is a film that meant a great deal to Tommy Lee Jones who stars in it but also directed it, building on the reputation he had earned on The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. Furthermore, Jones had a hand in the screenplay which was an adaptation of a novel by Glendon Swarthout.

The Homesman is set in the America of the 1870s, but, if its setting encourages one to describe it as a western, it counts as one of the most unusual westerns ever made, based on the experiences of women at that time, be they wives who accompanied their husbands out west or independent women like Swank’s Mary Bee Cuddy who seeks to establish herself as a farmer in Nebraska. The Homesman brings home the harsh conditions involved but, despite plot developments that may take the audience by surprise, there is never any doubt about Mary Bee Cuddy being the heroine of this tale.