Saturday, 1 October 2016

Andrew Dominik's "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" – Grim Viewing

Brad Pitt was a disastrous choice for the lead.  Perhaps his casting was designed to add some commercial clout to a slow and artily shot film.  He simply can’t act at all.  His one mode of acting is smirking and while this may work reasonably well as the outlaw with a reputation to uphold, it wears a bit thin when applied to every situation – he even smirks when he’s crying.  Presumably he took the role to get an Oscar but if so, it didn’t work.


It’s an interesting idea, an outlaw so notorious that the only way out for him is death, so he encourages and controls his own assassin.  But I couldn’t get past Pitt.

Review continues below...

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And Roger Deakins’ cinematography annoyed me – with its washed out colours and high contrast settings, most of the time it looked like the kind of photographers I hate the most on Flickr.

Personal Score: 2/10

This is part of a series of film reviews where I give my comments on the BBC's Top 21st Century films as a writer. The idea is that over time these posts will build into a wide-ranging writing resource.

For more details about the approach I've taken, including some important points about its strengths and weaknesses (I make no claims about my abilities as a film critic or even the accuracy of my comments... but I do stand by the value of a writer's notes on interesting films), see my introductory post here.

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