Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The (2007, USA) C-160m. SCOPE *** D: Andrew Dominik. Starring Casey Affleck, Brad Pitt, Sam Rockwell, Paul Schneider, Jeremy Renner, Sam Shepard, Garret Dillahunt, Zooey Deschanel, Michael Parks, Nick Cave, narrated by Hugh Ross. Epic demystification of the infamous bandit Jesse James (Pitt), whose fading 'career' is depicted here. His relationship to family and friends, fellow bandits, is elaborated, everything is set to marvelous photography (by Roger Deakins) and a fine score (by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, who also scored THE PROPOSITION). With the outcome given away by the title, there is no hurry getting to the end of this languid western. A remarkable achievement, despite mammoth length. Based on the novel by Ron Hansen, adapted by director Dominik (CHOPPER). Ridley Scott, Tony Scott and Brad Pitt were among the film's producers. Director's Cut runs four hours.

© Ron Altman