There is a surprise halfway through director/co-writer Tommy Lee Jones’ THE HOMESMAN; a “surprise” that happens as Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank) and George Briggs (Jones) transport three crazy women back East. I’m assuming the “surprise” is in Glendon Swarthout’s novel that was adapted, but if you haven’t read the book it will be a bit of a shock. The film, set in the late 1880s, won’t win you over immediately… It takes its time with thoughtful pacing to grow on you. There are a couple of nice cameos by James Spader and Meryl Streep. If there is one complaint, it’s that Cuddy, played wonderfully by Ms. Swank, mentions a few times how plain she looks. Ms. Swank is not plain, even without makeup!