Practically Historical

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford… 2007, Produced by Ridley Scott, Brad Pitt/ Directed by Andrew Dominik/ Distributed by Warner Bros. 


A rare example of historical fiction… truthful to its source material.  Based on the 1983 novel of the same name by Ron Hansen, this film is sparse, bleak and absolutely riveting.  The story dramatizes the relationship between James and his killer, Ford.  Not a shoot’em up western like most Jesse James films are, this psychological portrait details the final months of the man’s life.  Hansen crafts the best parts of his novel into a script that is remarkably historically accurate.  Andrew Dominik’s patient direction and Roger Deakins’ stunning photography bring the period into stunning view.  The landscapes  of Alberta, Canada which serve as late 19th century midwestern America, are moving in their emptiness.  The scenery all but becomes a cast member it is so prominent.  The…

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