Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Shotgun Critic #3: The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford

Building them up or tearing them down in 5 minutes...ish

The two and a half hours runtime of The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford (Jesse James from here on) felt more like an out-of-body experience than a cinematic one. Yet a cinematic experience in the purest sense it most certainly was. Roger Deakins is arguably the finest cinematographers working in Hollywood today with a CV to match any of the greats in film history. His work here though is ably matched by Brad Pitt and Cassey Affleck as the eponymous James and Ford respectively.

I loved the drenched autumnal hues and dreamscapes that Pitt haunts with quiet menace. I loved Affleck as he explored the fine line between obsession, forbidden lust and jealously. And I loved director Andrew Dominik's exploration of celebrity, betrayal and American mythology. If you missed it at the cinema, rent the DVD now because I Jesse James might just be a modern classic overshadowed by the similar heavyweight releases of 2007, No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood.

Kind like, but better than: The New World

Read a descenting view from SF Chronicle's Peter Hartlaub HERE.


Unknown said...

i'm bummed i missed this. i wanted to see it so badly but it was playing nowhere, and then the two days it played at the red vic i had a friend in town. glad to hear someone i know liked it, cause it's definitely at the top of my netflix queue right now.

Scott Henderson said...

Yeah, I was looking at the box office numbers for this film actually and they were dreadful. It kinda led me to believe that Warner had no idea what to do with the film and ended up putting it out at the wrong time of year on limited release. Shame really.