Complete list of the films Guillermo del Toro has recommended on twitter. Click the 'Read notes' button to see his…
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…
Dominik's best film.
Pitt's best performance.
Deakins' best work.
Affleck's perfect performance. That is not an exaggeration. Perfection is the only word for what he achieves here.
Made me forget, again, that I really don't like the western genre.
I've had this DVD sitting on my shelf for the better part of a year now, and for some reason I just never got around to watching this film at all. I thought it would be good, but I didn't expect it to completely blow me away. Everyone is just fantastic in this. Casey Affleck was born to play Robert Ford. Brad Pitt reaches for his inner Tyler Durden in this skin crawling portrayal of the infamous outlaw. The narration is fantastic. The music is spot on. The cinematography is haunting. Just, every little detail about this film felt absolutely perfect to me, I quickly fell in love with it, and I believe it to be one of the greatest…
”…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…
Considering the fact that I was born and raised in the town that this film takes place in it really aligns my roots every time I watch it.
After fantasizing for years about joining the James Gang young Robert Ford (Affleck) joins Jesse James (Pitt) himself in an attempt to make more out of himself. But as time passes Ford realizes the deep truths about James, and secretly turns against him.
The grit and lifestyle of 1880s Saint Joseph, Missouri is magnificently captured when seen through the eyes of cinematographer, Roger Deakins. Simple, yet haunting. Adding in the score, written by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, the film creates a perfect stage which Jesse James, himself, would've considered home.
Although a little long, it is a true work of art.
Been putting this one off for awhile because I'm a runtime-o-phobe. Glad I put an end to that today.
This cast is fucking stacked. Buffalo Bill and Michael Parks have glorified cameos. Pitt is monstrous. Rockwell always slays me. Pat Healy is always welcome. But put the fucking strap on Casey Affleck, gang. As good as everyone is in this movie, Affleck blows them out of the water. He's serial killer creepy with a hero complex but with this boyish yearning for approval and he's slimy and totally lost and man it is some fucking inspiring shit.
You got Nick Cave and Warren Ellis on the track. You got Deakins working the lenses. You got a cast with bats like the fucking Yankees (from whenever the Yankees were really good at hitting). Motherfucker, you got yourself a stew going.
My only quibble is with the voice over. Voice overs bug me near universally.
Casey Affleck did that.
i could watch this forever
A quiet, contemplative, and beautiful masterpiece that's not really about Jesse James at all.
brunette brad pitt can & should assassinate me
the assassination of mark brendanawicz by the coward zoe deschannel
Most overlooked movie of the 21st Century?
Movies that have such a powerful/memorable/weird/insane/awesome/surprising last scene (or shot) that made you say "THAT ENDING!!!!!" or variations
This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…