The amazon blurb was ridiculous. So here is the blurb from Wikipedia
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 she now calls home in Loup City, Nebraska Territory, and has significant financial prospects and sizable land ownership. Though seemingly strong and independent, inside she is suffering from depression and isolation after being rejected by several potential husbands for being too plain. She sings to a man named Bob Giffen (Evan Jones) while playing her makeshift piano, but when she proposes he turns her down.
After a harsh winter, three young women—Arabella Sours (Grace Gummer), Theoline Belknapp (Miranda Otto), and Gro Svendsen (Sonja Richter)—begin to show signs of insanity due to the hardships they have faced: one lost her children to diphtheria, one killed her own child, and one was raped and suffers a breakdown after her mother dies. Reverend Dowd (John Lithgow) calls upon one of their husbands to escort the women eastward to a church in Hebron, Iowa that cares for the mentally ill. Unsatisfied with any of the men’s potential, Mary Bee volunteers for the task alone, and Dowd reluctantly agrees.
This post should be titled Crazy “Horrible” Netflix movie that pissed me off.
I didn’t know The Homesman had Tommy Lee Jones (1). I don’t have anything against that guy, but he will forever be known as the asshole guy that played the old geezer in this horrible movie.
The Homesman is a perfect example of guessing reader expectations and then throwing those expectations out the door. Reader expectation is an interesting subject because a few of my beta readers were disappointed because their expectations were not met in Coal. My thoughts: It’s my job as a writer to surprise you. Do we really want to read the same stories over and over? In the end, I kept Coal the way it was.
Well I finally understand the gripe. I expected Ms. Cuddy to successfully take the twisted ladies home. Spoiler alert. She didn’t make it.
Cuddy feels ugly. She wants to marry. She lives alone in the West. She is alone and she is lonely. The opening scene begins with her telling this man he must marry her. It ends with her being called “plain” and “bossy” and he refuses. That should be the title of the movie “plain and bossy” because it was thrown around a lot in the The Homesman. The writers should have bought a thesaurus.
So on the way to take the girls to their destination, Ms. Cuddy saves this old geezer’s life and bribes him help her. While they are on the road, she asks the old geezer to marry her. He says no. But for some damn reason she asks him to have sex with her. Old geezer willingly does it. And then the next morning she hangs herself.
She exits stage left.
She is swiped from the movie.
All reader expectations (2) are now thrown out the door. All girl power leaves with her death. The message here: If you are plain and bossy you are not worth living much less marrying and you should kill yourself. But wait, before you die, you must have your spirit completely crushed by willingly having sex with an old geezer.
He buries Ms. Cuddy in front of the crazies and tells them it’s their fault because they are crazy.
Near the end of the movie, you see him looking somewhat remorse as he spends his money on a grave marker, but then even that is fucked because he loses the damn thing.
Reader expectations. Reader Expectations. Reader Expectations. Dead and Gone.
But that is not why I dislike the movie. In the end, I just think it’s full of male fantasy covered in male guilt. Look at all the horrible pain we men have put on these women. I feel bad. But hey I’m an ass and that’s my nature. Excuse me while I dance on your watery grave. –At the end, he sings and dances a jig–
This misogynistic piece of BS is highly rated on Netflix. Imagine that. But thankfully Amazon
has mostly cut it to shreds.
(1) According to Wikipedia, the old geezer directed the movie
(2) replace reader expectations with viewer expectations. I like the sound of the former better so I kept it.
My two short stories are available now on Amazon. My novel Coal is available for the pre-order price of $1.99. Click the pics to purchase.