The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
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The cinematography is mesmerising. I was actually distracted from the plot at some points admiring the photography and the shot compositions.
Lethargic and ponderous, but aching, much like Pitt's depiction of the main character, shifting between bouts of ugliness and resigned depression in a kind of mania that only shatters the specter of his own cult. Casey Affleck is equally amazing as the nobody pathetically trying to set his legacy in stone, in a kind of rageful sorrow with quivering lip, and only to end up re-enacting his fate as a kind of Greek tragedy. Add in some cold landscapes, melancholic music, and you have a pretty damn good film, though it does indeed drag at times from a foregone conclusion (though I enjoyed the narration), and most of the rest of the cast often seem to be foils to be gradually, suddenly picked off, so this falls just short of a grand recommendation - but then again, that's what this 'Western as life metaphor' seeks to do - crush the egos of men under the hypocritical steamroller of cultural legend. Hell, the scenes in the theater and bar at the conclusion could not serve as a more apt metaphor. This film isn't about where you end up, but how you get there, so adjust expectations to enjoy the journey.
Some of the most careful, poetic cinematography you will ever see and a truly remarkable tale to boot.
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In 7 official lists
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This movie ranks #92 in BBC's The 21st Century's 100 Greatest Films
This movie ranks #155 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films: 1001-2000
This movie ranks #160 in TSPDT's 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films
This movie ranks #181 in Reddit Top 250
This movie ranks #396 in Empire's The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time
This movie ranks #500 in Emma Beare's 501 Must-See Movies
This movie ranks #516 in Mark Cousins's The Story of Film: An Odyssey