The Vampire Diaries
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Review of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
by Oscar Andersson
Posted on May 10th, 2018
Positive 10
Overall Rating
"i've been a nobody all my life. i was the baby; i was the one they made the promises to that they never kept. and ever since i can recall it, jesse james has been as big as a tree." this is one of my favourite movies of all time and it holds up just as good on a rewatch. it tells the tale of robert ford, who grew up as the youngest child, constantly looked down at by his brothers, and during his youth read stories about jesse james, and grew to idolize him. when he gets the chance to join up with his hero, he sees the darker side of him, and grows to realize that perhaps the stories and glamourization of jesse james aren't exactly true. robert does eventually kill jesse, but that was no secret, it's even the title of the movie. the movie instead explores the character of jesse james, who through all the books and plays about him were depicted as a robin hood type character, and shows his descent into distrust and paranoia, who is willing to murder innocents, and beat up children to get what he wants. it also goes into great depth with the character of robert ford, portayed by casey affleck in the performance of his career and one of the best performances in modern memory, and how he tries to win glory and fame by joining up with, and emulating jesse james. during the course of the movie, he learns about the true nature of jesse james, which leads to his perception of his childhood hero being shattered. after robert kills jesse, he gains attention, but not admiration. he is regarded as a coward by the general public and even his brother comes to despise him. jesse's corpse becomes a public attraction, songs are written about him, but robert gains no such attention, only hatred. in the end, jesse james gets remembered as a legend, and robert ford only as a coward and a traitor. "there would be no eulogies for bob, no photographs of his body would be sold in sundries stores, no people would crowd the streets in the rain to see his funeral cortege, no biographies would be written about him, no children named after him, no one would ever pay twenty-five cents to stand in the rooms he grew up in." this movie has a great soundtrack, incredible cinematography by roger deakins, sharp dialogue and an incredible performance from all of the cast. it was overshadowed because it came out in 2007 which was such a stacked year, but i consider it the best movie of that decade.

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