Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Assassination of Jesse James is the Best Movie of 2007 (So Far)

The Assassination of Jesse James is the Best Movie of 2007 (So Far): "n the end, though, it is the thematic richness of Dominik's film that makes it not only the best film of the year so far but a strong contender for the greatest Western since Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West nearly 40 years ago. Like most modern variations on the genre, The Assassination takes the form of an elegy, not merely for the Old West but for the Western itself. Yet Dominik succeeds in conjuring a sense of loss deeper than that of era or genre: the loss of the belief, naive but nonetheless sustaining, that giants might still walk the earth. In Once Upon a Time in the West, the gunmen who once bestrode the American wilderness were pushed aside by commerce and technology, the relentless encroach of civilization. In Dominik's more melancholy telling, they were laid to rest by wannabes, boys with picture books and pop guns and a gnawing hunger for notoriety. After Ford shoots James, he briefly becomes a national icon--more recognized, for a time, than the president--but it is an empty, parasitic fame, the ghost-twin of James's legend. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is the story of this transition, of the moment in America when myth was murdered by mere celebrity and we were left, perhaps forever, with only the latter's meager consolations."