Dir: Andrew Dominik (Chopper)
Cast: Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Sam Shepard, Paul Schneider, Sam Rockwell
Seen: September 25, 2007 at the Varisty
Reason to see: As a part of my See 1 film a week in the theatre for a year. It also had big buzz at TIFF 07.
I was very surprized that I didn't get much from this film after there was so much buzz for it and I am astounded that it is #7 on Imdb's top westerns. Considering the screening I saw had a fairly small house I couldn't get a sense of the other viewer's enjoyment level. The film is set in the time of westerns, with the characters of westerns but at the pace of a drama. A very slow drama at that, and I am not opposed to films that have a slow pace, often I like them, but I didn't feel the effect of the slowness added to the film in any way. The number of long, drawn out shots of Brad Pitt as Jesse James doing a whole lot of nothing are far too numerous to be of any effect. The portrayal of Jesse James was also very different than any other I'd seen and it showed him not as the legendary man but merely someone who appeared to be at the right place at the right time instead of my previous impression which is that of someone of particular adeptness and charisma.
The one saving grace of the film was Casey Affleck who provided an astounding performance. I will be surprized if he doesn't snag oodles of nominations this upcoming awards season, although I would predict it will likely be oddly as supporting even though he has the majority of the screen time.
Shannon's Overall View:
I was bored while watching it
I'd not watch it again
I'd recommend it lightly to those who like long, slow drawn out films about iconic people
20 minutes of preshow including 12 commericals (!!!!) and 5 previews: P.S. I Love You, Michael Clayton, There Will Be Blood, No Country for Old Men, The Darjeeling Limited
I have to say, to have 20 minutes of preshow before a 2h40min film is just wrong.
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© Shannon Ridler, 2007