(I started to write this as a comment here but it turned out to be a bit more post-like)
Today was my first day off in about three weeks and the first thing I did (well, second, actually, but only after picking up my motorcycle from the mechanic YAY) was see The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
I fucking loved it.
What some read as "slow", I read as "tense". The title of the movie gives away the ending. We go into it knowing how it ends, so the point of the movie isn't to reach this unknowable ending (like every other movie out there). We're expecting it from the very beginning. We're told the date he dies at the beginning, but we never know what date we're watching onscreen until the very end. It's a different way to structure a movie, and I kinda like it.
The eye contact between characters said as much, if not more, than their dialogue. Again, some might read this as “slow” because there are lots of silent moments, but for me it just heightened the tension.
I'm not so sure about the narration. I'd have to see how they'd redo it if they took it out, but it kinda seemed unnecessary and therefore distracting.
Every shot was fucking gorgeous - I could have prints of those framed in my house. Looking at this DP’s resume, I love this guy - Roger Deakins (Sid and Nancy, O Brother Where Art Thou, Jarhead, Beautiful Mind, House of Sand and Fog, Big Lebowski, Fargo, etc)
The music was awesome - yay Nick Cave. That added to the tension too, of course.
The cast was incredible. I dont normally like Casey Affleck, but in this case, that’s the point. He really comes off as this really irksome guy that just for some reason rubs you the wrong way (or “gives you the willies”). I am kinda impressed, though, that he passes for 19 so well when he’s actually 32. Brad Pitt, of course. That look really works for him. Mary Louise Parker, Zooey Deschanel. Yes please.