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Comments 1 - 15 of 36

Siskoid's avatar

Siskoid

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford recounts the last days of the James Gang and feels like a fatalistic dirge for both of the title's characters. Instead of the elation you find in normal westerns because of their action scenes, you find a portrait of depression and anxiety, and though during the film I might have sometimes felt like it was all too long at 2 hours and 40 minutes, then questioned the post-Jesse James material, I found myself weeping as the credits rolled by. Part of it is the release of tension, seeing as both the title and the narration (well chosen language from the novel) do not hide the inevitability of what is to happen - suspense is built on seeing the pieces move toward that inexorable position - and part of it is just the sadness of men who regret their murders and betrayals even as they commit them. And the whole thing has some stunning cinematography thanks to the always superlative Roger Deakins; I knew I was in the hands of a master during that early train robbery. Wow. A stark eulogy not only for the piece's characters, but for the era of American legends.
4 years 8 months ago
fonz's avatar

fonz

Masterfully crafted, there is not a single dull frame to flicker across the screen. The music is intoxicating, the performances are enrapturing, the photography divine. Every subsequent viewing of this grossly overlooked masterpiece increases my appreciation for it.
5 years 11 months ago
pertazeta's avatar

pertazeta

Amazing soundtrack by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
6 years 8 months ago
BigAwesomeBLT's avatar

BigAwesomeBLT

This was a very slow film. There were many shots of barley fields.

The first 40 minutes with the train robbery flew by and I would have loved 2 more hours of that with an assassination at the end. But, no, that wouldn't leave any room for shots of fields now would it.

Brad Pitt was scary and intimidating throughout. I would love a Jesse James film, with him, with a plot. I know it's based on his actual life, but he must have got up to something more interesting than hushed conversations around dinner tables.

Casey Affleck was fantastic. I am going to find some more of his films.

A little sad there was no Sam Rockwell dancing.

I had been told the last scene is this film was amazing, and then the film finished and no amazing scene had happened.

Sometimes there were also shots of snowy fields.

Don't worry, there's a narrator to tell you everything so the movie doesn't have to.
6 years 9 months ago
Earring72's avatar

Earring72

Interesting western drama, well acted but lacks excitement and becomes a bit boring
7 years 1 month ago
jhhayes's avatar

jhhayes

I wish more people would see this film! It grossed barely half its budget during its run. This is unbelievable. Fantastic performances, great screenplay, naturally poetic dialogue, and beautiful cinematography. An awesome addition to the western genre. It's so good, it will be enjoyed by those that dislike western films. Future classic.
7 years 4 months ago
dorkusmalorkus's avatar

dorkusmalorkus

A slow, almost melodically paced film with beautiful cinematography and some really memorable scenes. Great acting from Pitt and Affleck and a memorable score from Nick Cave. Well worth the run time.
7 years 4 months ago
ClassicLady's avatar

ClassicLady

Dark, slow and tense. But I enjoyed every anxiety-filled moment of it. Not knowing when Jesse James (Brad Pitt) would blow up again and kill someone or make his threats a reality made it extremely difficult to watch. In addition, there was great cinematography which aided in the development of an atmosphere that teetered from wide-open nothingness to claustrophobic strangulation. Not the best of movies, but a good one just the same.
8 years 1 month ago
piratediscoking's avatar

piratediscoking

If there were only a single word in the whole world to describe "The Assassination of Jesse James" is would be 'overwhelming'.
8 years 4 months ago
badblokebob's avatar

badblokebob

This seems to have lost out on a lot of awards thanks to the double whammy of No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood. Personally, I thought it was better than either of those.
8 years 7 months ago
Film-Asylum's avatar

Film-Asylum

The cinematography is mesmerising. I was actually distracted from the plot at some points admiring the photography and the shot compositions.
8 years 10 months ago
Scratch47's avatar

Scratch47

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.
9 years 3 months ago
Maxahlia's avatar

Maxahlia

It stays in the back of your mind even after it's over. Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck were both great and the music is just perfect.
9 years 7 months ago
Rdgz_Dust_Speck's avatar

Rdgz_Dust_Speck

Casey Affleck and Brad Pitt are stunning, with natural performances. It's a dark, psychological western, with a darker ending. It's long and slow, but that's not bad: it's better, it gives us the chance to appreciate every moment, every detail, with scenes of great tension. Better than expected, and highly recommendable.
9 years 9 months ago
CarlyK's avatar

CarlyK

Casey Affleck. A-mazing. I knew Brad Pitt was amazing so no surprise there, but Affleck just blew me away.
10 years ago

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