A Slow Burn in the Wild West

I’d like to think I passed the writing gene along, but he’s so much better at it than me…

From Damon to Dugan

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is far from what you might expect out of a western. I’d argue the only thing “western” about the film is the setting, as the story itself plays more akin to a Shakespearean drama. What writer/director Andrew Dominik has crafted for us is an intimate and harshly melancholy character study of the twilight years of the mythological Jesse James. While you might think that Brad Pitt’s Jesse James would be the centerpiece of this escapade, you’d be mistaken. This is as much Casey Affleck’s show as it is Brad’s. The film refrains from simply giving us a “Greatest Hits” highlight reel of Jesse James, and prefers to focus on the somewhat mystifying relationship between Jesse and his infamous assailant Robert Ford.

assassination-of-jesse-james-by-the-coward-robert-ford(Photo courtesy of alchetron.com)

It’s difficult to put into words all the things that the film gets right. What’s…

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