The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Beyond the myth lies America's greatest betrayal
Everyone in 1880's America knows Jesse James. He's the nation's most notorious criminal, hunted by the law in 10 states. He's also the land's greatest hero, lauded as a Robin Hood by the public. Robert Ford? No one knows him. Not Yet. But the ambitious 19-year-old aims to change that. He'll befriend Jesse, ride with his gang. And if that doesn't bring Ford fame, he'll find a deadlier way.
This is my first viewing since the film’s original release back in 2007 and I feel incredibly foolish for not having re-watched it sooner.
Quite simply The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is a work of staggering brilliance and arguably the finest Western of the last twenty years. It is a film that exists on the border of two worlds - on one side it mythologizes the transitionary period of American history via the fable-building narration and dreamy photography, and on the other it slowly and methodically demystifies the characters that populate it and the falsehood of celebrity. It is this contradiction that is perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the film and mirrors the inner-conflict…
"He's just a human being."
#5 on Berken's Favorite Movies Of All Time
In retrospect, it makes perfect sense how much I loved The Assassination Of Jesse James, given how Andrew Dominik here assimilates the strengths of my three favorite modern filmmakers and repurposes them into a new and potent concoction:
1. The slow-burning cynical character studies, thematic purpose, and powerful, naturalistic performances of Paul Thomas Anderson.
2. The stylized period dialogue and shocking outbursts of violence of the Coen brothers, not to mention the brilliant eye of their famed collaborator, cinematographer Roger Deakins.
3. The thoughtful, elegiac tone and elegant, repeated musical leitmotifs of Wong Kar-Wai, especially In The Mood For Love.
Granted, Dominik can't quite match Wong's skill…
Cinematography - Roger Deakins
Oh you have got to be joking, Academy.
Okay, now I can see why this film is held in such high regard. It's very rare in which you find a film is which nearly every single aspect of it is crafted to absolute perfection. That is not hyperbole - it really is that good. Especially the acting. Brad Pitt puts in a performance that for most actors would be seen as the performance of their career but it's hard to say with him since he's constantly outstanding. Here though, he manages to effortlessly switch between the swaggering, grinning outlaw he's cemented a reputation as and the psychotic, self-loathing depressive he's become because of his actions, and…
Fair warning: I will overuse the word perfect - and all of its synonyms and iterations - in this review.
No matter how many times I watch this film, it feels like I'm experiencing it for the first time. I'm on the edge of my seat, waiting with bated breath for Jesse to sense a lie or for his facial expression to change ever so slightly and terrify the shit out of me. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is one of the few films I would say is objectively perfect in every way. I will never get tired of it and I've already seen it over ten times this year.
In all technical aspects, it's…
A richly detailed epic that doesn't sacrifice historical accuracy in order to be engrossing, what Andrew Dominik has created is a film experience that captures a period in time and explores the depths of its characters with captivating insight. Examining the final years of Jesse James' life which sees his gang falling apart and him developing a strange relationship with Robert Ford, the young man who would ultimate murder him. The vast landscapes and hazy visual imagery gives the entire film a haunting ambiance and Roger Deakins' camera techniques surrounds his characters in a misty existential atmosphere. The character of Jesse James has a mythological presence about him, and Brad Pitt embodies his legendary personality with a performance that is…
Best film of 2006. No arguments.
A stunning achievement by writer/director Andrew Dominik. This is quite simply a perfect film that hits every note as pitch perfect as a tuning fork. Most obvious right from the get-go is the stunningly gorgeous work by the D.P. This is quite possibly the best work to date from cinematographer Roger Deakins; who if you’re familiar with his work is a mighty bold statement indeed. An ominous, child-like score that is both sweet yet haunting over the top of a Ricky Jay-like narration adds to the graceful mood that is as immediate as it is captivating. Among the stellar cast are (at the time) relative new comers: Sam Rockwell, Jeremy Renner and Paul Schneider.…
This movie can fly!
A lot to take in... could definitely see this going up on future rewatches.
Andrew Dominik’s revisionist epic offers a sublime deconstruction of western mythology and its iconic hero, the outlaw Jesse James. Stunning performances, jaw-dropping cinematography and brutal realism contribute in a film that is not only the greatest contemporary western, but among the greatest westerns of all-time.
The beautiful, dream-like cinematography and wonderful performances were unfortunately not enough to make this plodding snore-fest watchable. Perhaps if it weren't trying so hard to be a VERY IMPORTANT FILM, I would have been more receptive.
A very slow, drawn out movie that also happens to be beautifully shot and well-acted.
A truly great piece of film. Although undeniably long and methodically paced, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is endlessly watchable and never feels like it's dragging. From the hypnotic narration and the beautiful photography by Roger Deakins to the the truly perfect cast and the amazing score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, this is simply a masterpiece of film making. The themes, although fascinating, are the only short coming in that they come across a bit too on the nose at times. However, this tale of obsession, masculinity, and the American Dream remains absolutely compelling. I can't believe I only just sat myself down to watch it.
Such an amazing Drama. Throughout the film there were mesmerizing scenes accompanied by such a perfect soundtrack for the film. I thoroughly enjoyed nearly every second of the movie, and thought that Andrew Dominik did a wonderful job at directing this. I can't believe I've had this DVD sitting on my shelf for a solid 6 months without watching it.
A superbly acted and enthralling movie. Also one of the best looking of the 21st century in terms of cinematography.
We did it, guys. He's finally dead!