The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
Director: Andrew Dominik
Stars: Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Mary-Louise Parker, Sam Shepard, Jeremy Renner, Ted Levine, Zooey Deschanel, Sam Rockwell
Budget: $30 million
Domestic Box Office Gross: $3.9 million
More of a solemn, hypnotic character study than a rootin'-tootin' western, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Fordis a smart, elegant art-house picture set in the west. So, yeah, it was destined to fail.
New Zealand-born filmmaker Andrew Dominik's movie is powered by a nuanced yet commanding performance from Brad Pitt as James, alongside Casey Affleck's Oscar-nominated, unhinged turn as his envious, obsessed murderer, Mr Ford. Clocking in at 160 minutes, The Assassination of Jesse Jamesisn't for antsy, thrill-seeking viewers, though, ultimately, that explains why it recouped only half of its budget during a quiet, limited theatrical run.
It's all good, though. This is exactly the kind of film that's best experienced for the first time at home, without the distractions of loud, obnoxious theater attendees.