Bang Bang, You’re Dead

Posted in film by deflowerd on February 21, 2008

It’s The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford.

This is an amazing movie. I’m just putting it out there, because I don’t think many people have already said that. Jokes! OMG did you get it? It was sarcasm.

This film is quite aptly titled, and gives you the general plot. I was unsure as to how the film could still be a powerful story after revealing the plot twist in the title. But boy, is it ever a powerful story.

I say ‘plot twist’ because to, I would think, most people outside of the USA, it would be quite a twist. If they had called it simply ‘Jesse James’, I would have had no idea that he would be, you know, assassinated.

Anyway. The twists and turns, the complex nature of the characters, the performances, the look… it’s all fantastic. Near-perfect. It’s as good a movie, technically, as I have ever seen. But man, is it long. I watched the first hour with my friend, and we decided to have a break. She didn’t end up watching the rest, and I didn’t until few days later. It is slow going, and it is not incredibly exciting, but it really isn’t that kind of movie. If you are in the mood to sit still for almost 3 hours and soak it in, by all means give it a go. But be warned; you may want to have an intermission.

Ok so I seem to be an actor-man. That is, the main thing I am interested in and write about are the performances in any given movie. Which is odd, because acting is a false-art. Anyway, Casey Affleck is fucking brilliant as Robert Ford. No two ways about it, I loved this movie because of him. It was a nuanced, emotional, great performance. He really gives this character some pathos, which is exactly what it needs. Brad Pitt just delivers. Every time, he just delivers a great performance. I really respect this guy. He makes Jesse James interesting. At times savage and ruthless, at others despairing, and always intriguing and complex. The rest of the cast are excellent too, with Sam Rockwell doing a great turn as Charlie Ford.

I thought the direction was very interesting. At times a blurring of the edges was employed giving the shot a very strange feel. Strange, but good. The colours and also the lack of colour was really beautiful, and everything served to create a rich atmosphere.

I didn’t really understand the point of the voiceover, but it wasn’t a negative. Not a positive either.

The movie is a sad, emotional, murky tale of a kid with big dreams, and the man he idolized. See it now.



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