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The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford


Year: 2007 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Director: Andrew Dominik

Starring: Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Mary-Louise Parker

The Assassination of Jesse James… has participated in a number of prestigious Film Festivals this year, including the Venice Film Festival and the London Film Festival, winning critical acclaim and numerous awards along the way - all this before its general release date. Tipped to be a stunning and provoking film, it tells the tale of the Post-American Civil War icon and outlaw, Jesse James, and that of his killer, Robert Ford. Jesse James was an infamous nineteenth-century bank and train robber, and was head of a notorious gang, whose legend is still told today in the United States. He was killed by Robert Ford who successfully infiltrated the gang. Over the years James has become a popular culture icon, the myth of his crimes is hailed in the same ranking as that of that of Dick Turpin, Robin Hood and other such outlaws.

Brad Pitt stars as the lead role of Jesse James, which won him a “Best Actor” award at the Venice Film festival. Branching from his recent roles in films such as Ocean’s 13, this role is refreshing and his performance is riveting. It is very pleasant to see him in not such an obvious or mainstream role. His ability to transform this villain into a human being and visa versa pays tribute to his acting talents, tributes he is frequently denied by critics due to his previous roles, and handsome face. Casey Affleck also performs incredibly well as the obsessive killer of Jesse James, Robert Ford. The audience are invited in this, at times, very tense film, to watch as Ford covets James’ success, fame and respect, until it is finally too much for him. The film is occasionally eerie and tense, and yet at other times it is humanist and allows a window into the psyche of a robber and a killer.

Director Andrew Dominik’s debut is one of aesthetic beauty and skill. He not only directed this film, but adapted it for the screen from the novel by Ron Hansen.

This film is epic and provides an interesting tale, and it also provides Brad Pitt…

Rachael Pilson-Wood

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Screenings of this film:

2007/2008 Spring Term (35mm)
2007/2008 Spring Term (35mm)