The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

BEYOND THE MYTH LIES AMERICA’S GREATEST BETRAYAL.

 

In the late 1800s, 19-year-old Robert Ford (Casey Affleck) tries hard to join a band of outlaws run by the legendary Jesse James (Brad Pitt), a man he’s admired since he was a kid. Director Andrew Domenik delivers another film about a criminal after Chopper (2000); this is the true story of how Jesse James was killed by his number one fan. Interesting to follow the different sides to their relationship; the theme of obsessive idolatry remains sadly relevant today. The story doesn’t hold up for two and a half, slow hours, but the film has a poetic touch reflected in the beautiful, desolate cinematography and the low-key music. Affleck is outstanding as the naive, resentful and cowardly Ford.

2007-U.S. 160 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Brad Pitt, Ridley Scott, David Valdes, Jules Daly, Dede Gardner. Written and directed by Andrew Dominik. Novel: Ron Hansen. Cinematography: Roger Deakins. Music: Nick Cave, Warren Ellis. Cast: Brad Pitt (Jesse James), Casey Affleck (Robert Ford), Sam Shepard (Frank James), Mary-Louise Parker, Paul Schneider, Jeremy Renner… Zooey Deschanel, Sam Rockwell, James Carville, Nick Cave.

Trivia: Shia LaBeouf was allegedly considered for the part of Ford.

Venice: Best Actor (Pitt).

Last word: “I always thought the film was great. But it’s a weird movie – it’s fruity. It’s a fruity movie about suffering, like ‘Barton Fink’. It’s baroque; it’s rococo. You’ve got to look at it from the studio’s point of view. They make movies that are real crowd-pleasing films. They look at a film like this and think: Jesus Christ, what is this? Everybody is always trying to make the best movie they can. It’s a process.” (Dominik, Time Out)

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