Comrade Misfit put up a post about this film today. She didn't like it much. I didn't like it much either, but I sure do remember it. It wasn't a bad movie, you know, with bad writing, bad acting and a bad story. I didn't like it because it was unrelentingly grim and depressing. And sad. The death of Hillary Swank's character was particularly disturbing.
The movie is set in the 1850's in Nebraska and Iowa. On the plus side, it gives a realistic view of some of the trials people suffered, stuff that is given short shrift in most Westerns. Also, there is the hotel in the middle of nowhere, the burning of said hotel, the importance of shoes, the suddenly worthless money, and Tommy dancing a jig. Twice. That alone was worth the price of admission.
Sheila O'Malley has good review on Roger Ebert dot com.