Movies Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The (2007, Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck) Published 6 months ago on November 7, 2018 Despite being a wanted outlaw and murderer Jesse James has become a mythic figure of American folklore, his death at the hands of Robert Ford, a young member of his gang, assured both James and Ford almost legendary status. It’s 1881 and Jesse James (Brad Pitt) at the age of 34 is feeling the effects of 14 years on the run. His brother Frank (Sam Shepard) is determined to give up the train robbing busines, Jesse though is more concerned with making sure nobody does him or his name wrong and forever moving with his wife (Mary Louise Parker) and two young children in order to stay one step ahead of the law. 19 year old Robert Ford (a truly superb portrayal by Casey Affleck who steals the movie out from under Pitt’s feet) is amazed when Jesse allows him to join his gang and as Jesse descends into paranoia and displays increasingly erratic behaviour, Ford (and his older brother Charlie) realise the only way they are going to stay alive is by killing Jese. Writer and director Andrew Dominik leaves us in no doubt as to how the movie will play out, right from the opening scenes it has an elegiac, panoramic, almost sepia toned look and feel. The cinematography by Roger Deakins is superb and theres a beautiful blurring of the edges whenever the narrator advances the story. Pitt’s James is a truly nasty piece of work with no redeeming features but knowing that and seeing Jesse playing with his children (who don’t know what their daddy does for a living) adds a huge measure of poignancy to his inevitable death. It’s Affleck’s film really though, a wonderfully measured performance with just the right glint of insanity and rightousness behind the eyes and wisely director Dominik doesn’t end the story with the assassination of Jesse but allows the movie to play out with Ford cashing in on the murder and his own equally inevitable sad end. production details USA | 160 minutes | 2007 Director: Andrew Dominik Script: Andrew Dominik, Ron Hansen, cast Brad Pitt as Jesse James Casey Affleck as Robert Ford Sam Shepard as Frank James Mary-Louise Parker as Zeralda James Paul Schneider as Dick Liddil Jeremy Renner as Wood Hite Zooey Deschanel as Dorothy Evans Alison Elliott as Martha Bolton Sam Rockwell as Charley Ford Garret Dillahunt as Ed Miller Brooklynn Proulx as Mary James Dustin Bollinger as Tim James Joel McNichol as Express Messenger James Defelice as Baggagemaster J.C. Roberts as Engineer Kailin See as Sarah Hite Michael Parks as Henry Craig Ted Levine as Sheriff James Timberlak James Carville as Thomas T. Crittenden Nick Cave as Bowery Saloon Singer Sarah Lind as Bob’s Girlfriend ActionAlison ElliottAndrew DominikBrad PittBrooklynn ProulxCasey AffleckDramaDustin BollingerGarret DillahuntJeremy RennerMary-Louise ParkerPaul SchneiderRon HansenSam RockwellSam ShepardWesternZooey Deschanel Advertisement advertisement and this just in TV14 hours ago This Is Personal: The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper (ITV 2000, Alun Armstrong, Richard Ridings) Period crime drama serial. The story behind Assistant Chief Constable George Oldfield’s tracking down of the evil incarnate that is... TV14 hours ago The Comedy Trail: A Shaggy Dog Story (BBC-1 1999, Ronnie Barker, Victoria Wood) A five minute trailer made by the BBC to celebrate their comedy output, with over 40 of the biggest names... 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