Like the title this adaptation of Jesse James is a looong slow journey through the later years of his life. More interesting, its also a journey into a character we've heard little about...Robert Ford.
The film is a western drama surrounding the private life and public exploits of America's most notorious outlaw, Jesse James. As the charismatic and unpredictable outlaw plans his next great robbery, he wages war on his old gang who are trying to collect the reward money--and the glory--that is riding on his capture. However, the greatest threat to Jesse's life may ultimately come from those who look up to him the most.
The movie reminds me a lot of a better Terrence Malick flic. The movie's cinematography and narrative translates more like a poem than a film. Its beauty captures the essence of a different time and a different world.
Our boy Casey comes through with yet another amazing performance. At least two in one year, not a bad climb from out his brothers ugly PR shadow.
Pitt's best moments are not when he speaks nor when he acts but more of when he just IS. His walk, his lean, his stare, all of these speak to me louder than any of his edgy lyrics. There is no doubt that Pitt carries the swag of our favorite outlaw.
The score and three specific moments made this film for me. The music haunts the scenes like a lullaby with its sad caressing melody.
One of my favorite moments is when Jesse James sits in his unkempt backyard in an old chair(pic below). His brother has just left the gang and his heart is broken. He opens up a box and pulls out two snakes that were captured for dinner. He holds the two snakes together in his right hand watching them ballet up his arm. He then in one swoop lops their heads off just watching their bodies never stop dancing. The imagery and the camera were AWESOME. Look for it in the trailer
The thing that makes this movie stand out amongst the other hordes of James brother westerns or just westerns in general is the care that was taken to make this feel slow and beautiful. The filmmaker truly wanted to take you there.
I was never bored nor did I ever look at my watch. I recommend to anyone with the patience for a long slow souther draw.