Monday, March 10, 2008

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

This film is absolutely beautiful to look at. The cinematography is absolutely brilliant, nearly every frame is a work of photographic art.

The acting is exceptional. Casey Affleck's Oscar nomination was very well deserved. He appointed himself excellently in every scene in which he graced the screen.

That being said, I couldn't help but feel I was watching a western version of The Talented Mr. Ripley, Robert Ford came across as a bit of an overzealous, stalker/sociopath-- the equivalent of Matt Damon's Tom Ripley, with Brad Pitt playing the hair-trigger tempered Jesse James (Jude Law's Dickie Greenleaf).

The plot was plodding at best, even with speeding up portions of the film to 1.5 speed the film at times STILL felt as though it were dragging. Then again, the movie handicapped itself with its own title. Even if one didn't know the story of Jesse James, the very title gives away the ending. One can only hope that the filmmakers stop while they're ahead and forego a The Assassination of Robert Ford by the Coward Ed O'Kelley or possibly even The Assassination of Ed O'Kelley by the Police Officer Joe Burnett.

The film gets 2 stars: 1 for cinematography, 1 for Casey Affleck's acting. This is a great film to watch if you're suffering from insomnia and would prefer to avoid taking Ambien, Lunesta, or any other pharmaceutical sleep aids. In fact, I'm surprised Big Pharmaceutical didn't put the k'bosh on this film as it is a far more effective sleep aid than any of their medical alternatives.


Anonymous said...

The family of Jesse James have posted their own 5 page review of this movie on their family web site, together with stories about the James family’s former experiences with Hollywood and Jesse James movies.

David Amulet said...

Interesting review. We are all so used to quick-moving films these days that anything slow seems like it's REALLY plodding. I'm glad to hear that it had some good things going for it ... maybe I'll check it out on DVD.