I don't know if a review is expected to open such a thread. But I was puzzled (though IMDb says that it only opened limited in the US) that there is no thread for Andrew Dominik's incredible Film in existence yet (although arsaib noted it as one of his favourites from the TIFF, if I recall it right).
What I expected:
A nice, patiently told western, loaded with mild pathos, some Kitsch, overall a film definitely worth to be seen.
What I got:
I would call myself a passioned enemy of Hollywood - at least, the Hollywood of the last 15 years. I'm most shocked and amazed;-) that my probable favourite in 2007 is a child, born by the "dream factory" (though not a usual Mainstream flick at all, sure). It was patiently told (aspiration over aspiration), but it was much more than nice.
Blown out as I still am - I just returned from the cinema - and limited in my english skills, It will be quite hard to quote something adaequate (my head is almost aching of Ideas for a german review but I don't dare to write one:-( but I'll try:
Even in the beginning of "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" it is immediately clear that Bob Ford (probably one of Casey Affleck's best performances) is a guy who thinks that he brought the wearing of emotional masquerades to perfection - which isn't the case. Jesse James (Brad Pitt, for his performance, the same is true as for Affleck's), his adored hero since childhood days doesn't precisely turn out to be an "Illusion" (At least, not at this point of the film). As soon as both of them meat each other, they start to battle themselves: Who wears the less transparent mask? Jesse feels some kind of pitiful sympathy for Robert and asks him to stay with him and his family for a few days - as a servant.
The following chapter of the film concentrates on the most important people who build up the bridge between Jesse and Bob. When they finally meet up again, the "introduction" (if you want so) is over. What follows is a film about SUCH a mass of things: Personal evolution (both of Bob and Jesse), Repression of self doubt (is such a word in existence?), Loneliness in a community, being a follower but also superior yet, about feeling guilty (and the many different faces of this feeling), about the disposition of self-contempt, distress about dependence and so much more. And though this suggests an explosion, the film stays quite, calm and patient at every minute, every cut and every image.
Maybe, all of this sounds silly or facile, but I can't express myself much better in english, sorry.
The film was worked out great - the acting (I was surprised a lot about the two leading actors, especially Brad Pitt - though I had to watch it german dubbed again - Warner is quite reliable on delivering crappy dubbings), the camerawork (maybe a bit too conventional sometimes but still startling and very deliberate), the music (I am not a fan of Nick Cave but I always liked his music and a lot of it has made its way into the Soundtrack, he also appears by himself as a singer in the end), the editing (there are some breathtaking assemblies during the dialogue and riding scenes), the sound, just almost everything.
The only thing that weakens the film a little bit is the epilogue. I don't think that it was necessary to tell Bob's further development after the murder of Jesse so, well I don't know how to call it, inartificial. But the final sequence was done so great, so meaningful (even in different directions) that the only thing left to say (for me, at least): Bravo. Hollywood, what have you done? You probably delivered me my favourite of 2007, I never even thought of that possibility.
Rated 25 out 25 / 10 out of 10.
Any suggestions, comments? Anybody here who shares my enthusiasm (or not)?