The actual full title of the movie is “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”, of course, and the film co-stars Brad Pitt as Jesse James and Casey Affleck as the beforementioned Robert Ford. This is actually the second time I watched this, and still, I simply love the cinematography. The way it is shot, it lends a moody aura to this tale. Casey Affleck is brilliant as the young Bob Ford who -after devouring stories about the James gang- wants nothing more than to join the adventures of this heroic band of thieves, robbers and murderers but soon finds out that fiction is often more glamorous than life. Brad Pitt brings a manic quality to Jesse James whom even his own men don’t trust entirely. Our very own Mr Renner plays Jesse’s cousin, Wood Hite, who places a little too much stock in how much respect people have for his family tree. CAUTION, SPOILER: halfway through the movie, Hite is killed by Ford who is either defending Dick Liddil (ruggedly handsome Paul Schneider) or fearing for his own life in what is the climax of Hite and Liddil’s falling out over Hite’s stepmother. His naked body is then unceremoniously dumped in the woods. So really, for all intents and purposes, one can now stop watching (just kidding!!!).
Favorite Renner moment: really? C’me on… well, alright. At Major Hite’s house, Wood and Dick sit up while Wood smokes a cigarette in bed, telling Dick to keep his, um, privates and other parts away from his daddy’s wife. I really couldn’t pinpoint why this scene of all others, but that’s the one. Take it or find your own.
Goofiest feature of the film: way in the beginning, when the narration introduces Jesse James, it is mentioned that due to an eye condition, he was prone to blinking more than normal. All the while, here is steely eyed Pitt, not batting a lash at the audience. Haha. It’s called “editing”, do it.
What else can be said about this movie? If you haven’t seen it, but like a good story and a well chosen cast, this is the flick for you. There are two sides to every character in this, and I can safely say that these will be two hours and a few minutes well spent.