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The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford (2007), Andrew Dominik, A

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Friday, August 31st, 2007

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Before anything: Roger Deakins. Quite possibly most exciting, expressive cinematographer working today. He may be, in this film, too good. There were some scenes where I was so enraptured by the visual appeal of this movie that I forgot to listen to the dialogue. Seriously. A scene happened in the back of a general store – and the lighting, the framing, the smoke trailing up through the moustaches were so awesome I didn’t hear anything – and later I realized this was an important scene. Many shots are vignetted with old timey out-of-focus ireses that just never get tiresome.

A great movie. Basically GoodFellas out west. Many people will name check Terence Malick when they see this, but that is false. Malick’s films are in love with their environment – this film is filled with a dark, slow rage. Brad Pitt’s performance is terrific, but the real stand out is Casey Affleck. He is absolutely superb. As is the original score by (?) Nick Cave. I was also fond of the Ken Burns-esque voice over shtick. A long movie, but the extended epilogue was so fascinating I wanted more. Lord knows how the general public will react to this movie, but considering how brooding westerns are just about my favorite things on earth, I am quite taken with this film.

2 Comments »

  1. [...] James Mangold has made a straight up white hat/black hat Western and there’s nothing in the world wrong with that. Hard to buy the ending a little but, hey, that’s Hollywood — though second time this year for Christian Bale and good movies with lame endings. And I feel like there was a missed opportunity here and there for some added visual oomph — but not everything can be a masterpiece. Still, why all the negativity? This is a solid Western and that’s a damned good thing. I also hereby consider myself a Ben Foster fan. [...]

    Pingback by Jordan Hoffman Dot Com » 3:10 To Yuma (2007), James Mangold, B+ — October 16, 2007 @ 6:45 am

  2. [...] In 2007 I named this my number 1 film – over Sunshine, There Will Be Blood and No Country For Old Men. [...]

    Pingback by Jordan Hoffman Dot Com » The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford (2007), Andrew Dominik, A — November 8, 2009 @ 10:56 am

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