Hilary Swank

The 5 Best Movies to Buy or Stream This Week: ‘Birdman,’ ‘St. Vincent’

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Oscar night is just around the corner, and there’s a decent chance that you’re spending this week finally getting around to seeing The Imitation Game or whatever. But if you’re all caught up on this year’s nominees (or, good for you, utterly indifferent to the whole shebang), good news: this week’s new disc and streaming releases include a couple of last year’s acclaimed but largely unrecognized pictures, a terrific under-the-radar thriller, and a new HD release of the last film by one of Japan’s cinematic masters. Oh, and one of the year’s most nominated titles is out there now as well, if you go for that sorta thing.
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Tommy Lee Jones’ ‘The Homesman’ and the Pleasures of the Eccentric Western

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The label “revisionist Western” has been thrown around for so long that it’s all but meaningless now. From Peckinpah’s Wild Bunch and Altman’s McCabe and Mrs. Miller through Eastwood’s Unforgiven and Jarmusch’s Dead Man to Dominik’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and Reichardt’s Meek’s Cutoff, the outlier/atypical exception has become the norm, and these days, the truly daring move would be to make a straight-up oater without the frills. That’s not what Tommy Lee Jones does in The Homesman, but it’s not exactly revisionism either; he’s partaking in a sort of sub-sub-genre, the eccentric Western, and he may be our most accomplished current practitioner of it.
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