Saturday, December 7, 2013
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
It's like some lost 70s revisionist Western, the little brother of McCabe & Mrs Miller perhaps. It's almost amazing how Dominik got away with making such a slow and moody film. Probably he wouldn't have without Brad Pitt in the lead role. Who's good, but the film still belongs to Casey Affleck. And is it the most beautiful, most Terrence Malicky Western ever made? Roger Deakins' cinematography is some kind of wonder. Possibly the film drags a tiny bit in the middle, but then it gets even more interesting after the death of Jesse James, when we follow Robert Ford who has to live with the conscience and regret of his act. It's one of the few films where a narrative voice actually works. And I like how muted the gunshots are, sounding almost as sad as the sound effects in a Chris Ware comic.