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Watch: In Praise of ‘The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford’

Watch: In Praise of 'The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford'

At the beginning of his most recent ‘Unloved’ installment for RogerEbert.com, this one on Andrew Dominik’s ‘The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” Scout Tafoya asks, somewhat justly, what this particular film is doing in a series that has, up to now, focused on misfit movies, films that have gotten little recognition—or not the recognition they deserved, for reasons buried in the insides of the films themselves: odd story idea, bad casting, arbitrarily idiosyncratic cinematography. This one’s different, starring Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck, as it does, and being based on a very famous moment in Western American history—the killing of Jesse James. Nevertheless, Tafoya cites critical slights to the movie, along with a mediocre box office history, and then supplies a moving defense of it, based on its meaning to him, as a young man turning 26, watching a story onscreen that is as much about growing up and coming into manhood as it is about the murder of an outlaw. Strewn with gorgeous clips from Dominik’s cinematically arresting film, this seems like Tafoya’s best ‘Unloved’ entry yet, on a piece of work which deserves as many viewings as you’d like to give it.

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