The Homesman (2014)
Tommy Lee Jones produced, wrote, directed, and starred in this unconventional western about three women who go mad in the Nebraska Territory on the American frontier. "Life gave them more than they could bear," says the reverend, and when you see their hard lives in that harsh landscape you understand what he means. The women need what was called a "homesman" to take them "back east" to Iowa, only in this tale that man is a fourth woman — the "bossy," young, "uncommonly alone" spinster named Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank). Cuddy hires the smack-talking vagrant George Briggs (Jones) to help her, and off they set on the five-week trek across the treeless, wind-whipped prairie. They reach their destination, the wife of the Methodist minister (Meryl Streep), but this film is all about the journey across a piece of American history.