Friday, December 28, 2007

Capsule Review: The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford

Movie: The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
Director/Studio: Andrew Dominik / Warner Bros.
10 Word Review: Overlong, but packed with great performances; best cinematography in years.

Best Thing About It: Those visuals, holy god. Roger Deakins has long been my favorite cinematographer in the business, and his work on Jesse James is probably the best he's ever done. It's not just the pretty widescreen shots of contemplative wheat fields you see on the posters, either. The best shots come under cover of darkness, with characters emerging from or retreating into the shadows.

Worst Thing About It: It's still too long -- sorry to sound like a dilettante, but three hours is far too long to spend contemplating things, even if you're contemplating the western reimagined as a commentary on celebrity. Also: three hours and you still can't find enough story for Mary-Louise Parker and Zooey Deschanel? Come on.

Best Performance: My fingers are crossed that Casey Affleck will end up scoring the Oscar nomination he's hovering around this year, even though it will be for Best Supporting Actor when he's clearly a lead. I'm still not 100% used to this idea of Casey Affleck as a serious, awardable actor, but that's two straight movies (this and Gone Baby Gone) where he's been fabulous.

Oscar Prospects: Both Affleck and Deakins look to be in decent shape for nominations, but since the idea of a film's two most worthy aspects being recognized seems doomed to failure, we'll have to cross our fingers. I suppose Andrew Dominik stands a long shot at a Best Director nomination, but there's a lot of competition in that field.

Grade: B+


Eiresgirl said...

But where's the love for Paul Schneider? He's my new movie boyfriend.
Enjoy your blog and TWoP.

Joe R. said...

LOVE Paul Schnieder. Between this and Lars And The Real Girl, he's been one of my favorite actors this year.

JA said...

So glad that Schneider's getting plenty of work. Loved him ever since All The Real Girls.

Normally, or at least as of late, I'm all about movies keeping it succint, but Jesse James never felt long to me; I never felt like it was dragging. Perhaps I was just too enraptured with the visuals and the dreamy pacing. But I could've sat there another half an hour or so.

PS - I just had my socks rocked off by Tilda Swinton in Michael Clayton. GOD DAMN SHE IS AWESOME.

Joe R. said...

Well you're just reading my mind this week, huh?

Myrna said...

Great work.