Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford

The Assassination Of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is Andrew Dominick's follow up to the crazy character study Chopper, and though that is a good film Dominick makes a great leap as a filmmaker here. This is one of the greatest sophomoric efforts by a director as he crafts a masterpiece, in sort of the year of masterpieces. The film is in part character studies of the two men the legendary outlaw and the hanger on who eventually killed him in his own attempt for fame and fortune. The film dissects both men brilliantly but it goes further than this in its ambitious intention. As it also captures the idea of the creation of a legend and the falseness of such a thing. This is part by the complex performances by Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck as the titular pair, aided by the just about spotless supporting cast. It goes further though in the way it in front of your eyes creates the legend while also subverting it. The technical elements are all consistent in creating the legend whether it is Roger Deakins's awe inspiring cinematography or Nick Cave and Warren Ellis's elegant score. The writing though subverts it so cleverly yet also emotionally. What is so remarkable about the film is it does not set any villains or heroes within the picture rather offering complicated men that it so effectively dissects. It shows both Jesse as the charismatic outlaw and the vicious psychopath, it sympathizes with Robert's choice but also his regrets. The film never simplifies only offering a complex and effortlessly compelling portrait of the west.

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