Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

Director: Andrew Dominik

Writers: Andrew Dominik, Ron Hansen

Composer: Nick Cave

Starring: Brad Pitt, Mary-Louise Parker, Brooklynn Proulx, Dustin Bollinger, Casey Affleck, Sam Rockwell, Jeremy Renner, Sam Shepard, Garret Dillahunt, Paul Schneider, Alison Elliott, Jesse Frechette, Pat Healy, Michael Parks, Ted Levine, James Carville, Nick Cave, Zooey Deschanel

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Beyond the myth lies America's greatest betrayal.

Plot: Robert Ford, who's idolized Jesse James since childhood, tries hard to join the reforming gang of the Missouri outlaw, but gradually becomes resentful of the bandit leader.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again?  Yes.

Hmmmm.  This is one I'm going to need (and want) to see twice. I liked it but with reservations.  I'm pretty sure that Brad Pitt was miscast and I've got a hunch that Affleck was, too.  Pitt is being Pitt but he's holding back on the Pitt persona a little.  I would prefer a better actor in the role, one who can become Jesse James instead of acting if that makes any sense.  Affleck is either brilliant in the role or he's awful.  That's a big divide, sure, but I'm not all that comfortable with his somewhat awkward performance.  I sense that he's acting, thinking about it too much.  The cinematography is great (how about that night train robbery?  Nice!) and the performances around these two cats are very good.  It's a nice 'meditation' Western and the near three hours doesn't seem that long.  I'm sorry I didn't catch this one in the theater for the full impact. 

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