The Assassination of Jesse James...

D: Andrew Dominik
Warner Bros./Virtual Studios/Scott Free/Plan B (Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Ridley Scott, Jules Daly & David Valdes)
USA 🇺🇸 2007
153 mins


W: Andrew Dominik [based on the novel by Ron Hansen]
DP: Roger Deakins
Ed: Dylan Tichenor
Mus: Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
Cos: Patricia Norris

Brad Pitt (Jesse James), Casey Affleck (Robert Ford), Sam Shepard (Frank James), Mary-Louise Parker (Zee James), Paul Schneider (Dick Liddil), Sam Rockwell (Charley Ford), Jeremy Renner (Wood Hite), Zooey Deschanel (Dorothy Evans)

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is an incredibly slow-burning experience, but one which is worth sticking with. For the most part, the story doesn't seem to be going anywhere in particular, and the sound quality is barely audible to make sense of the sparse dialogue. It's almost like a visual poetry utilising Roger Deakins' handsome photography with two great performances to hold interest, one of which is absolutely fantastic (take a bow, Casey Affleck). Once you get past the slow build up, the rewards are delivered in the final 45 minutes of the picture when all the pieces fit together and it becomes an intelligent, thought-provoking drama about the power of reputation.
As a Western, it's no Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, but as an allegory about the development and obsession of celebrity status it's a marvellously crafted piece of work.

Brad Pitt in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Brad Pitt in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Did You Know:
Of all the films made about Jesse James, his descendants have claimed that this is the most accurate. They were especially enthusiastic about Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck's performances.

Award Wins & Nominations:


Wins: none

Nominations: 3 (Best Actor in a Supporting Role; Best Cinematography; Best Original Dramatic Score)


Wins: none

Nominations: 2 (Best Actor in a Supporting Role; Best Cinematography)


Wins: none

Nominations: none


Australian Cinematographers Society (Best Cinematography); ACCA (Best Cinematography); British Society of Cinematographers (Best Cinematography); Chicago Film Critics (Best Cinematography); Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics (Best Cinematography); Florida Film Critics (Best Cinematography); Houston Film Critics (Best Cinematography); International Cinephile Society (Best Supporting Actor, Best Cinematography); INOCA Awards (Best Cinematography); National Board of Review (Best Supporting Actor); OFTA (Best Cinematography); San Francisco Film Critics (Best Film, Best Supporting Actor); Satellite Awards (Best Supporting Actor); St Louis Film Critics (Best Supporting Actor, Best Cinematography); Venice Film Festival (Best Actor); Western Writers of America (Best Western Drama)