in about 100 words or less
US 160m, Colour
Director: Andrew Dominik; Cast: Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Mary-Louise Parker, Zooey Deschanel, Sam Shepard, Sam Rockwell
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is a visually stunning and extraordinarily introverted western biopic adapted from the 1983 Ron Hansen novel of the same name. Not since McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971), has an American western been as thoughtful and as stylish. Slowly paced with well-written and performed dialogue, “The Assassination” is a compelling story with flashes of violence depicted so coldly and casually that any excitement, traditionally generated from scenes such as a train robbery, are practically nullified by the introspective nature of the story telling. This is one of a small handful of dramas which have broken the romantic stereotype of the Hollywood western, and in so doing, provides a compelling narrative of one of the most intriguing characters of the old west (Klaus Ming October 2011).