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Tommy Lee Jones to Write, Direct, Produce & Lead 'The Homesman'

by
May 7, 2012
Source: Variety

Tommy Lee Jones

Sometime, people take a box office success story like The Avengers getting over $200 million in its opening weekend and gripe about how indie films don't get that kind of attention and deserve that kind of success. If that were the case, then people would see indie films just as much, simply because they are good films. Guess what? That actually happens, and the success of The Avengers means audiences will likely get a greater chance to see director Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing. Now the same can be said for Men in Black III star Tommy Lee Jones who is likely using his blockbuster paycheck to get his own film going.

Variety has word that Tommy Lee Jones will be writing, directing, producing and starring in The Homesman, a period drama about a pioneer woman and a claim-jumping rascal of a man (Jones) who usher three insane women on an odyssey from Nebraska to Iowa, braving the elements along the way. See, that's the kind of film that won't get made if blockbusters don't do well at the box office or if actors don't sign on to star in them. Obviously it's harder to justify when a particular blockbuster is a piece of garbage, but if a film like The Avengers (and hopefully Men in Black III) can entertain critics and audiences to great praise, and indies get a little support because of it, then there's nothing to complain about.

Previously Jones directed the made-for-TV movie The Good Old Boys back in 1995, but he's also helmed the feature film The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada and the HBO film The Sunset Limited. Of course, this will be the first time he'll be taking on four different hats behind the scenes. This will be a good year for Jones as he stars in Men in Black III, the romantic comedy Hope Springs and Steven Spielberg's long-awaited biopic Lincoln. He's one of my favorite older actors working today, and I'm eager to see what he does with this much control over his own feature film

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  • Jay
    The Sunset Limited was fantastic
    • peloquin
      I thought it was terribly boring and uninteresting.  The dialogue in that film was enticing, but it ultimately ended with no great revelation on either side of the debate.
      • germss
        The lack of a revelation is what made the film so powerful. It denied us the typical hollywood ending, and kept the debate going long after the movie was over. 
        • peloquin
          It felt to me like the writer didn't really know what he wanted to say to begin with and the director barely had any input seeing as the whole film is just two guys talking to each other. The debate about the afterlife is one that has been going on since the beginning of time and I don't think this film offered much insight into the topic. I'm glad they were bluntly honest about how ridiculous religion is, but it's also probably why it didn't get a very wide release.
          • germss
            Cormac Mccarthy's books always have cryptic endings/meanings. Look at the ending of No Country for Old Men. It really requires the audience to do a lot of work, and usually everyone is going to take something different away from it. There's plenty of people out there who think The Sunset Limited was actually pro-religion. Depending on what angle you are coming from, everyone is going to feel differently about it. For me the movie was about finding a balance in your life. Never giving yourself over to one simple belief. White put all his faith in culture, but it did nothing for him. Black was all about faith and god. Towards the end that's failing him as well. Both of these guys gave so much of their life to their beliefs. Maybe doing something like that isn't so healthy. But that's just what I took away from it. Which is why I liked the movie so much. We're free to make up our own minds.
          • peloquin
            You make some good points and I didn't even know it was a Cormac Mccarthy adaptation so that makes a lot more sense now.  It wasn't a poorly made film, I just found myself struggling to stay awake during it.

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