The western genre was once a proud staple of the cinematic landscape. On par with dramas and musicals, in their 50’s heyday dozens of westerns were produced each year in the United States alone. They were like the comic book movies of their day. But people have been predicting a saturation point for the comic book movie boom for years, and that seems to be what eventually happened to the western; these days you might get two or three of note, and in an unlucky year one of those might be A Million Ways to Die in the West. The Homesman is here in an effort to bring the genre’s reputation this decade back in line with films like Django Unchained and True Grit. And co-writer/director/star Tommy Lee Jones (of Small Soldiers fame) exercises quite a bit of ambition in the movie’s execution.
A very wise man once said, “The power of love is a curious thing. Makes one man weep, makes another man sing. Changes a hawk into a lily-white dove. More than a feeling: that’s the power of love.” Christopher Nolan is a filmmaker who would agree with this philosopher. As early as 2000’s Memento, Nolan’s films have featured main characters driven by a love that has been lost. Whether it is Bruce Wayne’s deceased parents in Batman Begins, Robert Angier’s deceased wife in The Prestige, or Bruce Wayne’s deceased girlfriend in The Dark Knight Rises – these men are driven by their love. In his new film Interstellar Nolan examines the power of an extant love.