The best that cinema has had to offer since 2000 as picked by 177 film critics from around the world.…
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…
Legend was he could stop a train by staring it down.
The villain dies a villain's death, the coward, however, goes out alone. These golden wheat fields that never fail to make me somewhat religious reminds me of Malick's Days of Heaven, upped to a whole new level with the addition of Roger Deakins, being a ~ godsend ~ as always, stops at nothing to craft heart-stopping sequences like the opening train robbery. (Train emerging from darkness, light illuminating masked figures in the woods, Deakin's spell casted on every frame.) Brad Pitt is as menacing as Daniel Plainview, his presence is a continuous jump scare, adjusts his mask like a true fashion model, every close up of him is an ad for Prada or some other capitalist bullshit, I swear, even the wind dares not blow his direction. Just brilliant filmmaking, acting, storytelling.
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…
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…
Man crush gone horribly wrong
A fascinating and poetic film about fame, obsession, masculinity, and Americanism. Holds up just as strong ten years later, mostly due to Deakins and Affleck. For once, I love the narration. Film narration normally turns me off, but in this movie it has an elegiac quality that makes it a special experience, like the narrator of a great novel. Flows like a slow river, taking you assuredly downstream. The score starts off with a magical quality to it--you admire James as much as Ford does, but once Ford's opinion of him changes, so does the score, losing its magical quality in favor of a more somber piano sound to compliment the main characters' depressions.
Beautiful cinema, period.
i can't believe it's taken me this long to realize how great of an actor casey affleck is
i love Casey "i always sound like im about to cry" Affleck
Over a year ago, I first watch The Assassination of Jesse Jame by the Coward Robert Ford, walking away from the film uneasy. While I liked elements of the movie, the film itself didn't resonate with me. I desperately wanted to like the film, but ultimately could not.
However, the film kept gnawing at me. The ending montage revealed a truth so poignant and deeply cynical that while other higher rated films faded from memory, this film stayed at the forefront of my mind. Its an ending so deliciously dark and surprising, despite the spoiler of a title, I would continually wonder why I rated this film so low.
Well, a year has past and while I am certainly raising…
Frank Ocean listed this as one of his fav movies & im so happy. I love this movie & im so glad one of my favs acknowledged it 😭😍
I don't think I've seen a more haunting ending sequence than this one. Not just one of my favorite endings, but also one of my favorite movie scenes of all time. The last 20-30 minutes are as close to perfect as anything will ever get.
That score, too.
A near masterpiece, with great performances all around.
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