Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
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.
”…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,…
I just watched a film that plays like a comic book about how we view the heroes in comic books.
How? How? How could I have missed this film back in 2007? How?
I don't know, but I'm so glad I've seen it...
Finally a real film, I don't mean biographical, I know that this is a true story, but that's not what I mean. Real, in a way that shows real people, with real feelings, with flesh and bones, dualistic beliefs and flaws. To add even more to this fact, this characthers are portrait beautifully for a fantastic cast that includes Brad Pitt, Casey Aflleck, Sam Rocwell and many others. It was in a scene where Pitt, Affleck and Rocwell were together that I realised how good they were, because damn... they were amazing! Pitt owned the screen and…
4/10: Though the camerawork and cinematography is spectacular, the story is too long and draggy for my liking - total of 160mins.
The Assassination of Jesse James is a well acted and beautifully shot biopic of one of America's most notorious outlaws. Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck give the best performances, the cinematography is beautiful, the clothing/set design all look authentic to its 1800's time period and the "Money Train" soundtrack was absorbing. In my opinion however the first and third act were the most engaging, since the middle section dragged an awful lot. Ultimately, The Assassination of Jesse James was an entertaining watch nonetheless.
Nominations : 11
Won : 0
That's Roger Deakins scorecard which depicts how the retards at the Voting committee really operates!
The cinematography overwhelms all aspects of this frigid movie with performances nothing much to speak about..It's way too long with unengaging story line and bland characters...the other highlight was the awesome soundtrack which complements the camerawork splendidly(some of the shots resemble The Days of Heaven)
This film was the best romantic depiction of a western I've ever seen. When recommending it to friends I simply tell them it's kind of a western meets fantasy. The score is whimsical and reveals a version of the west I never knew. The acting is superb and the cinematography is insane. I love everything about this film.
My review -- this film is now on DVD and it does have just over 50% of its budget back. The contents a documentary facts and historic goings on of Jesse James and Robert Ford. So I cannot actually criticize the contents because it is historic facts, but however I can still criticize every other aspect. Now I have been thinking for the last couple of days on how to construct this film review, because this project just has too much of everything [just to prove my point the timeframe of this project is roughly 160 minutes.] So with that in mind I have decided to make comparisons between the award-winning Lincoln, because yes it is different to the fact…
I loved watching Brad Pitt in Andrew Domnick's Killing Them Softly and that led me to watching this film.
The best parts in the film are the starting 25 minutes and the last 30 minutes, the whole central act seemed yawny. Brad Pitt, Sam Rockwell and Casey Affleck are all good in their parts and the background music along with the snow on screen is the most soothing in recent memory.
Casey Affleck stole the show in this.
- Only God Forgives
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
- Spring Breakers
- A Field in England
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
- 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:…