Lee Jones: Homesman is political
Tommy Lee Jones has admitted there is a political subtext about the objectification of women in his new film The Homesman - but he preferred not to discuss it.
The 67-year-old Texan star co-wrote, directed, produced and appears in the Western movie about an unmarried woman who teams up with a drifter to help three women driven mad by harsh conditions on the American frontier cross the prairies to the safer and more civilised East.
Hilary Swank stars in the lead role and Tommy plays the role of the drifter.
Tommy told a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival, where his movie premiered, that there are political themes to the movie, but he'd prefer to let it speak for itself, The Wrap reported.
He said: "I won't try to hide the fact that consideration of American imperialism on the west side of the Mississippi River is an underlying theme. We thought about that while we were considering it, while we were writing it and while we were shooting it.
"But I'll let the movie speak for itself on that [subject]."
Pushed further he said: "I don't think there's a woman in this room that has never felt objectified and trivialised because of her gender."
Tommy admitted the film is not a traditional Westerm.
"The journey in this movie is the inverse of what you usually see in a movie that has wagons and horses in it. And the subject is women, insane women, instead of heroic men."
But he added: "We just made the best movie we can. You were using the word genre, but I don't understand that word. We were trying to make the best movie. It's a consideration of history, of the westward expansion, of... manifest destiny.
"But we didn't think about Westerns or genre or anything other than making a movie about American history from our own point of view."