The Homesman is a 2014 French-American period drama film set in the 1850s midwest produced and directed by Tommy Lee Jones and co-written with Kieran Fitzgerald and Wesley Oliver, based on the 1988 novel of the same name by Glendon Swarthout. The film stars Jones and Hilary Swank and also features Meryl Streep, Hailee Steinfeld, John Lithgow, and James Spader.
The film was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or in the main competition section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and received a North American limited release on November 14, 2014 by Roadside Attractions. The Homesman has received mostly positive reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a rating average of 7.2/10.
The title refers to the task of taking immigrants back home, which was typically a man's job to carry out.
Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank) is a 31-year-old spinster from New York, a former teacher who journeyed to the Midwest for more opportunity. She is an active member of the small farming community Loup City, Nebraska Territory, and has significant financial prospects and sizable land ownership. She seems strong and independent, but suffers from depression and isolation after being rejected by several potential husbands for being unattractive and overbearing. She makes dinner for and sings to her neighbor Bob Giffen (Evan Jones), but when she proposes, he turns her down and leaves to find a wife back east.