Monday, December 10, 2012

Scene of the Week - The Assassination of Jesse James by the coward Robert Ford

By Sati. Monday, December 10, 2012 , ,
What must be done
directed by Andrew Dominik

The scene: In a titular scene of Andrew Dominik's masterful picture, we observe the fear, anxiety and sadness in a form of almost a dance that is happening right before our eyes. With beautiful "What must be done" by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis playing in the background, treacherous Robert Ford (Casey Affleck ) and reluctant Charley Ford (Sam Rockwell, in one of his finest performances) prepare to kill Jesse James (Brad Pitt).

James can clearly sense what is about to happen - he looks at his daughter through the window, focusing on every little detail as Robert and Charley try to compose themselves, wordlessly - Robert clearly battles with an idea of killing his friend and mentor, while Charley already shows the signs of immense sadness and despair he will experience after committing the murder, as he raises his armed hand with much resignation, in an apologetic way.

As Jesse says "Don't that picture look dusty?" and approaches the picture of the horse, he sees Robert aiming at him with a gun in its reflection. If Jesse didn't turn his back to him, who knows if Robert would shoot, if he was able to see his face. When the shot is fired, that beautiful, subtle, incredibly orchestrated scene erupts with violence and blood in a matter of seconds as Jesse is shot, hits his head on the picture and dies. He turns from the living hero into cold, lifeless corpse in a matter of seconds and the break the scene provides - from dreamlike, slow and delicate movement prior to the shot to the frenzy after it, only amplifies it.




Previously in the series:


16 comments:

  1. This is one of my favorite films ever.

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    1. Mine too! One of the few I gave 10/10 to.

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  2. That is definitely a great scene. Definitely far more accurate than the 1948 film that Samuel Fuller did in I Shot Jesse James which was OK but took too many dramatic liberties. I would only see that if you're interested in Samuel Fuller.

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    1. I'm not really into Jesse James story, I only saw this one for Rockwell and I'm glad I did because it surprisingly became one of my all time favorites.

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  3. Great choice, love the layout with all the pictures as well. A criminally under-rated film

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    1. Thank you! :) i wish more people saw this movie.

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  4. That's a fantastic scene. And great job on those screenshots! :)

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  5. As everyone else has stated, great job on the captures. Why this film didn't do more on the awards circuit I'll never know, but it easily places in my top five of the aughts. Maybe even all-time.

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    1. Thank you! Glad to read you are a fan of the movie too, it certainly deserves much more attention than it got.

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  6. Holy god, I love this moment. It never fails to shake me.

    “Don’t that picture look dusty?”

    Yes, my friend, it certainly does.

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    1. I had a feeling you're a fan of this scene too :) It's honestly one of the most brilliantly directed moments I've seen.

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  7. This might be my favorite movie of the aughts.

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    1. Glad to read it! It's definitely one of my favorites too.

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  8. Ugh. I've been talked out of watching this on more than one occasion.

    Damn it.

    Love the post, though. It's gorgeous.

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    1. You should definitely see it, I do not know a single person who was let down by this one :)

      Thank you!

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