Taking place in the American Northwest in the early 1880s, the film dramatizes the last seven months in the life of famed outlaw Jesse James, beginning with the Blue Cut train robbery of 1881 and culminating in his assassination at the hands of Robert Ford the following April. In the time between these two fateful events, the young and jealous Ford befriends the increasingly mistrustful outlaw, even as he plots his demise…
"You know I'm real comfortable with your brother. Hell, he's ugly as sin and he smells like a skunk and he's so ignorant he couldn't drive nails in the snow, but he's sort of easy to be around. I can't say the same for you, Bob"
For one thing, this is what Brad Pitt considers to be the best film he's been in. Think about what this means: it surpasses 12 Monkeys, 12 Years a Slave, Se7en, The Tree of Life, Ocean's Eleven… at least in Brad Pitt's mind. There are a few points that must be made to begin with:
This film is beautiful. This is the best western of all time. The score is fantastic. Andrew Dominik does an incredible job of directing here. It's all pretty crazy.
One of the best examples of the direction (and cinematography) in the film is at the beginning with the train robbery; as the train gets closer to the James gang, and the train reaches the camera… and takes the camera with it. It's a marvel of filmmaking, as is the rest of it's rather hefty 160 minute run-time.
Now… the violence in this is reminiscent of The Godfather - it appears in small bursts, but very GRAPHIC small bursts. And it's so, so, so effective.
Casey Affleck and Brad Pitt give the best performance's of their career. You cannot argue with it. Shhhhhhh. Stop.
Funnily enough, the most affecting part of this movie isn't the assassination itself… it's what follows; finding what happens to Robert Ford after he murders Jesse James.
If I hadn't seen Calvary earlier this year, I would believe that "The Assassination of Jesse James…."
was the best film of the century so far.
10/10, An absolutely fantastic Western. The greatest of all time (and my second favorite film of all time).