Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Assassination of Jesse James

I've asked my son Danis to guest-write a post for you today. He studied film at Otago and in New York and is now back in Auckland. With this debut post he features a film made by the New Zealand-born director Andrew Dominik. Now he's on board, I'm pleased to say you can look forward to more posts from Danis. KR.
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is the second feature film by Chopper director Andrew Dominik. It stars Brad Pitt, in possibly the finest role of his career, and Casey Affleck.

This is a film that doesn't pull any punches or surprises; the plot is spelled out in the title. However, it is the way the story is told that makes this incredible film, that spans almost 3 hours, entirely captivating.

[Spoiler Alert]

The Assassination of Jesse James... is a film that shines in its portrayal of celebrity. Although based in the 1880s, it portrays America's fascination with stars. It does this by centering around Bob Ford's absorption of his idol Jesse James, and his obsession with befriending James and joining his gang, only to grow disillusioned by the outcome.

The film is also blessed with beautiful cinematography, providing a real and gritty look at what the West was really like. This look is complimented by an incredible score (and cameo) from Nick Cave. It also features stunningly detailed and developed performances from not only the two drawcards, but also a handful of the supporting cast.

Along with The Proposition, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is part of a new breed of Western; slow burning, gritty, honed and not falling back on gun slinging and knife fighting. Highly recommended.