Great story and a grown-up film
- The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford review by PV
This film was really excellent.
I know those used to MTV and action movies and who possess the attention span of a dyslexic puppy will hate it (so most Americans and teenagers then) - but it is worth sticking with through the so-called 'slow' build-up and story.
Why? Because it's a great story about great characters - AND is based on a novel. Those reviewers who thing this film 'too slow' so turned it off after an hour will probably have to ask a grown-up what a novel is...
Only boring people will find this movie boring...
3 out of 6 members found this review helpful.
Long, excellent character drama rather than a Western. Highly recommended.
- The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford review by RP
There have been many films about Jesse James, many eulogising him as a sort of 'Robin Hood' character. There are popular songs about him [Aside: one of which is included near the end of this film, performed by Nick Cave]. If you want to know more about Jesse James and the James-Younger Gang, Wikipedia has lots of info.
The film tells the story of the end of the James brothers' long criminal career as Jesse descends into distrust and perhaps paranoia, trusting only the Ford brothers Charley and Robert. Unfortunately his trust is misplaced, as having already shot and/or betrayed other gang members, Robert Ford shoots Jesse in his own home.
'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford' is an excellent film which I enjoyed very much. The photography is excellent, the acting by Brad Pitt (as Jesse James) and by Casey Affleck (as Robert Ford) is excellent, and the directorial device of using a semi-documentary style with narration (often a lazy way of telling a story) works well here.
It's a long film at over 2½ hours but it held my interest throughout and I believe it needed that length to do the subject justice - it's more of a character drama than a Western.
Jesse is portrayed as a ruthless, violent criminal, albeit somewhat charming, rather than as Robin Hood. Robert Ford is portrayed as a naive teenager hero-worshipping the James outlaws from afar, then wheedling his way into the gang, becoming disillusioned, then betraying them. Also shown is the Ford brothers cashing in on their notoriety by way of a travelling stage show, through to Robert Ford's own assassination. And it's the length of the film which allows this lengthy tale to be properly told, rather than scrimped.
Excellent stuff. 5/5 stars - highly recommended.
0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.