By Andrew Harwood
The American west emerged as a beckoning for courageous Americans to drop everything and move to the opposite side of the country. Filled with deserts, great plains, mountains, ridges and more, the American west is a crucial and dominant part of history.
In cinema, there exists the “western” film. Western films are generally set in the American west during the post-Civil War era. The story tends to follow a roaming cowboy, gunfighter or outlaw and all the experiences he finds himself involved in.
Some great examples of the “Western” film are “The Searchers,” “High Noon,” “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” “Django Unchained” and our film of the week, “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.”
Written and directed by Andrew Dominick and based off of the 1983 novel by Ron Hansen, “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” follows the realtionship between infamous outlaw and bank robber Jesse James, played by Brad Pitt, and his right-hand man Robert Ford, played by Casey Affleck, and the events leading up to the eventual killing.
Taking place throughout the American west and southwest depicting James’ final year, “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” explores the themes of family, crime, greed, betrayl and redemption, accumulating to the titular scene in a painstakingly gritty and remarkable way.
Highlighted by its unique and artistic cinematography, color aberration, timely original score, beautiful exteriors and devastating action, “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” is a revisionist take of the classic Western tale.
Supported by great performances from Mary-Louise Parker, Sam Rockwell, Jeremy Renner and Sam Shepard, “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” is a brilliantly crafted American western film.