Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
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…
”…Rooms seemed hotter when he was in them. Rains fell straighter. Clocks slowed. Sounds were amplified…”
Okay, we know what’s going to happen, we know that a coward and weak character, named Robert Ford is going to kill the famous wild west outlaw Jesse James, we know who is who before even watching the film, Andrew Dominik’s audacious masterpiece has nothing to surprise, we know that there’s not going to be a twist, there’s not going to be a WTF moment, everything that we’re going to see is compressed in the title, that’s all.
So this film is not going to be about what’s going to happen…
"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…
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford was a total afterthought in my film universe for years. The title was memorable for me simply because of it's length, but it carried no real resonance with me besides that. My expectations for the film were so low that, to be honest, when I read extremely positive reviews on Letterboxd I had trouble buying into it. How could a film mean so little to me, a film that sat so far off my radar that it practically didn't exist, yet be this good?
I looked up the director, found the name Andrew Dominik. Who? A name that meant absolutely nothing to me, a tiny filmography of three films associated…
What a breathtaking gorgeous picture The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is. Unbound beauty. We are all aware by now of the director of photography, the master Roger Deakins, who has proved his astute sense of vista and marvelous photography, not only with The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, but on many other occasions as well. I could watch a three hour movie of sunlight inundating empty rooms, people walking around corn fields with the wind whistling by or riding through snowy forests all the time. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is not just a movie, it's a moving painting bro. Hear me out!
As I said,…
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…
I was not expecting this movie to be so good. Of course, I thought it would be good, but my expectations were rather simplistic: probably some good performances, maybe some good shots, nothing more, nothing less. But, as I type this, the reality is beginning to set in. The reasons we have expectations are for them to be defied. And this film did just that.
There is probably a specific point when I realized that what I was watching was special, but as of now I cannot recall exactly. I just remember suddenly thinking as the film cut to black "Holy shit." And that is all the justification I needed. Yes, I barely just finished, but I am…
Jesse James is depressed. Casey Affleck shoots him. Casey Affleck is depressed.
I'll only put down some random thoughts for now. I'll go more in depth on 25th for the 12 Angry Cinephiles Movie of the Month conversation
- Many attributes of a Malick film. Narration, nature shots, backlighting, and score among others
- A great psychological study. Some read it as a commentary about homosexuality (the possibility that Robert Ford was gay, and possible Jesse James), but this third viewing I saw more of an exploration of schizophrenia (or some mental illness along those lines)
- The entire cast is at the top of their game. Sam Rockwell especially jumped out more this time around, but Affleck and Pitt give the best performances though.
- I really want to see the…
A particularly insightful review I read called this "perhaps the first filmed 'book on tape.'" I can't say I disagree, although it's a cinematically gorgeous book on tape starring some familar faces.
I enjoyed the story, and found myself captivated by the portrayals of James and Ford played by Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck.
EVERY TIME YOU WATCH IT, IT GETS BETTER
One of the most perfect movies ever when it comes to cinematography, it quickly became on of my favorite movies ever. Once my favorite director, Robert Bresson, said there are "Two types of movies: those that employ the resources of the theater and those that employ the resources of cinematography". The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford clearly is one of cinematography-type.
THE MOVIE THAT TERRENCE MALICK WOULD LIKE TO DIRECT
Andrew Dominik cearly was inspired by Malick in this masterpiece, yet, I still think this is better than any Malick's artworks.
This movie is perfectly well filmed, with great colors: There's the train robbery scene where you can…
"Can’t figure it out: do you want to be like me, or do you want to be me?"
I'm gonna ramble real quick: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is near perfection and one of my favorite films of all time. It's unforgivably overlooked and a pure force of poetry and humanity. It is easily one of the prettiest films I have ever seen and wholly ambitious (a nice long applause for Andrew Dominik and Roger Deakins). Brad Pitt is at his best here and is still surpassed by Casey Afflek. Also, the score is phenomenal.
I refuse to write more until I see it again.
(I'll be writing a Great Film essay for Kill Cinema on it soon enough. It may even drift from a 4.5 to a 5.)
Unless they’ve seen this film, it’s doubtful 1 percent of 1 percent of Americans could name the man who shot and killed Jesse James, and it’s even less likely they’d know the location where the man who brought James to justice was himself killed. It is a historical oddity with which I happen to be quite familiar.
There’s a great line in this film about two Americans being known to most Europeans, Mark Twain and Jesse James. Jesse James was the embodiment of the American outlaw and, to a lesser extent, a subculture of the American West. Removed from that time and looking back at it as a nugget of history, I’ve always known that James murdered at least a…
Rewatched because it reminded me of a book I'm reading for my English class.
The more I see this film, the more I realize it's one of my all time favourite films. I love the examination of myth, legacy, and media representation. The film also works as more of a straightforward tragedy and I do have a great deal of sympathy for Bob Ford by film's end. This is in large part thanks to Casey Affleck's excellent performance. He has a perfect mix of creepy and earnest and he grows into something else entirely. Brad Pitt also embodies Jesse James quite well and is very threatening. The film is also shot gorgeously, in fact it might be my favourite example of Roger Deakins cinematography. The score is also amazing as well.
This is a slow moving film and it does require a fair amount of patience, but my god does the film pay off.
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
- There Will Be Blood
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
- Mulholland Drive
- Children of Men
- No Country for Old Men
1. THERE WILL BE BLOOD (2007) by Paul Thomas Anderson
IMDb: 8.1 | RT: 91% || Points: 2110 | Peak:…
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
- A Matter of Life and Death
- My Neighbor Totoro
- The Double Life of Veronique
- Blade Runner
I thought it was about time I tackled the list. I've created plenty of top 100 genre compilations but I…