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Feb 2, 2009

Ok, so I finally saw The Assassination of Jesse James...

...By the Coward Robert Ford this weekend.

Just one question: how the hell did Brad Pitt get nominated for Benjamin Button but not get nominated for Jesse James? Ok, two questions: how the hell did Jesse James only get two two nominations? I'm not saying it was better than No Country or There Will Be Blood, but it's a whole lot better than the number of nominations it received would have you believe. I'm shocked it wasn't a Best Picture nominee...

22 people have chosen wisely: on "Ok, so I finally saw The Assassination of Jesse James..."

J.D. said...

Well, it sorta WAS better than No Country...

Joseph said...

I was especially disappointed when it wasn't nominated for the brilliant score.

Fletch said...

I can see that argument, J.D. I didn't necessarily want to call out No Country, but was just using them as examples of the most widely celebrated films from 2007.

Joesph - the score was great, indeed. At least the cinematography was nominated...

Ibetolis said...

Glad you finally watched it Fletch.

I agree with J.D, it was better than No Country for Old Men and I have no idea why it was so universally ignored.

blake said...

I was equally outraged. This movie was definitely one of the best of that year.

redison said...

Ditto on the comments. I thought it was better than No Country For Old Men. I also thought it was better than There Will Be Blood, GASP!

Ms☆Go (dcmoviegirl) said...

Yeah, I agree.

This is Brad Pitt's make-up nomination. He was quite good in Jess James.

I think they did the same thing to Josh Brolin this year. Though, in this case he actually did deserve it just as much for Milk too.

In Brad's case, I did like his performance (more even than Cate's) but it was so subtle, it reminded me of his awful turn in Joe Black.

I don't think westerns get love unless they're directed by Clint Eastwood.

Daniel Getahun said...

Welcome to the club, Fletch. There was a reason it was my #2 overall movie last year, and that only because No Country was just so gripping.

Deakins not winning for Jesse James may have been the Oscar snub of the century.

And Casey Affleck should have won Best Actor last year. That's what I said.

Fletch said...

Gasp, indeed, redison! ;)

Well, if everyone's gonna rank this, No Country and TWBB, then I will, too.

TWBB stands head and shoulders above them all in my book. Far and away the best film of 2007.

I had some other films that I loved that would likely sneak into other top five spots, but Jesse would probably end up just ahead of No Country. That's no knock on No Country - it was great and, of the Best Pic choices last year, a worthy winner.

My gripe is less with those movies and more with the lack of recognition for Jesse. I just don't get it. Is it because it was released earlier in the year (September or October, iirc)? Is it the length (a somewhat valid gripe, but one that could be applied to any number of Best Pic contenders in any year, and directly to Blood last year)? Was it Pitt? A (mostly unkown) director?

I just find it strange.

"This is Brad Pitt's make-up nomination. He was quite good in Jess James."

I could see this, but I don't honestly think that's the case. I think the Academy is either lazy and/or got swept up in Button-fever, somehow mistaking it's technical excellence for all-around excellence, with Pitt being one of the benefactors. C'est la vie, I suppose.

"I don't think westerns get love unless they're directed by Clint Eastwood."

It's funny, but I had a small debate about westerns and the term 'western' with Mrs. Fletch. I'm sure I'm technically wrong and/or in the heavy minority on this, but I wouldn't classify Jesse as a Western. I say I'm wrong because I'm guessing, for most, a simple time and location is enough for any film to qualify for the 'western' genre, but I think it's more about the vibe (and plot) than something so generic as time and space. But that's neither here nor there, I suppose.

"Deakins not winning for Jesse James may have been the Oscar snub of the century."


"And Casey Affleck should have won Best Actor last year. That's what I said."

Whoa - hold your horses. That's crazy talk, there. Not only would I consider the un-nominated Pitt more deserving than Affleck (who was excellent), but you're talking about taking it away from Daniel Day?

Guffaw, harrumph and all that. No way.

Anonymous said...

that movie was excellent and should have been nominated in many categories. Pitt deserved actor.

Ms☆Go (dcmoviegirl) said...

Mickey's a shoe-in, so I think you're right about getting caught up in the technical, this go 'round, as opposed to it being a make-up award.

On Jesse's genre, however, yeah I'm gonna disagree.

It is a character study, but then so are most other westerns. The exceptions usually are the b-grade variety.

Jesse is very typically western.

Nick said...

I'm just gonna throw this out there... please don't hurt me...

But I disagree. The acting was great. The cinematography was freakin' OUTSTANDING. But to me, the plot was both too jumbled/confusing where it was and too non-existent everywhere else for a 3 hour movie, which brought it down a TON for me (read my review on it for my full thoughts).

But I did buy it on a whim when it came out on DVD, so I do own it. I'll watch it again at some point. Who knows, maybe my opinion will change.

Dead Pan said...

Right on good sir. Assassination was so great, and so incredibly overlooked. I do feel that it suffers from a similar thing that both There Will Be Blood and No Country suffer from, and that's where it seemed like they made these absolutely perfect films, so perfect they didn't know how to end them. To me, No Country had the most satisfying ending, although I'm sure many would disagree.

Farzan said...

Still havent seen this film, but I heard it was really good. I think Brad Pitt is a great actor and his films lately have been nothing, but great in my opinion. He will win an Oscar soon enough.

Pat said...

Amen to just about everything you and the others on this thread have said about "Jesse James."

I think Pitt's performance may be the best of his career.

And, while I wouldn't say it was better than "No Country," necessarily, I would definitely put it in my Top 10 for 2007.

Daniel Getahun said...

I don't necessarily want to take anything away from Daniel Day-Lewis, but in terms of most surprising performance of the decade, it has to be Affleck. This is the guy who'd pretty much made a career out of Ocean's and American Pie movies (not counting Lonesome Jim), and here he is completely owning the screen. Blew my face off, similar to Andrew Garfield this year.

Yes, DDL did too, but the difference is that I expected it from him.

Point is, whereas before I would have laughed off any movie starring Casey Affleck, now it's become a must-see (and he followed it up pretty well with Gone Baby Gone the next month).

Fletch said...

Ms. Go -

"It is a character study, but then so are most other westerns. The exceptions usually are the b-grade variety."

Like I said, I'm sure I'm wrong on this. I admittedly haven't seen a ton of Westerns, but there are certain elements I attribute to them, and this had very few. This was Selena in a different time and place, that's all (kind of a stretch, but the general themes are the same).

Nick - I can understand where you're coming from, though the film didn't strike me as being nearly as "artsy" or "comtemplative" as it was mae out to be. Nonetheless, I can see how the 3 hour runtime would turn many off.

But this is moreso about Pitt being shut out for it while honored for Button.

Oh, and you should watch it again...but not for a few years. I enjoyed it but can't imagine watching it time and again (like, say, Tombstone?).

Dead Pan - you bet I'm gonna disagree with you. LOVED the TWBB ending. Enjoyed the Jesse James ending (not as though there were that many options, though...). HATED the No Country ending. Still do.

Pat -

"And, while I wouldn't say it was better than "No Country," necessarily, I would definitely put it in my Top 10 for 2007."

Ditto. And I think I agree about it being his Best performance. While we're here, here are my five Favorite Pitt performances:

1. Floyd, True Romance - So small yet so memorable. The role that got me interested in him. Not that way, perv.
2. Mickey, Snatch - You like dags?
3. Geoffrey, 12 Monkeys - Love the eyes. Manic.
4. Jesse James - I could do a whole 'nother post about this character. I love that Jesse was portrayed as being a slightly stupid hick, albeit a cunning, paranoid, dangerous one. So many movies make all their stars whip smart, but it was much more interesting seeing one that wasn't.
5. Tyler Durden - I had to re-do this list, and this was at number one previously. Wow.

Just missing the cut: Early Grayce, Kalifornia.

Yes, an Oscar will come soon enough...

Daniel - I must put this on you. Just because you didn't know his potential from seeing him in Chasing Amy is your fault. ;)

But seriously - what about Gerry? I still haven't seen it, but it was a large role in a "serious" flick pre-Jesse.

Daniel Getahun said...

Forgive me, Joey Lauren Adams' voice has ruined anything positive in any of the movies that I've seen her in.

Interesting point about Gerry, which also stars Damon in a never-talked-about role. There are probably about 15 minutes of dialogue in the entire movie, which doesn't mean that there's no acting, but does make it a little harder to judge. Gosh, now I really want to see the movie again. NOT for the impatient viewer...

Nick said...

I agree... out of TWBB, Jesse James, and No Country... TWBB had, by far, the most satisfying ending. It really made the movie for me (and the movie had already won me over even before then).

Like Fletch, I really hated No Country's ending (loathed, even). The last 20 minutes ruined the rest of the movie for me. It's the reason I probably won't ever watch it again (unless it's on TV or something and I have nothing else to do). I don't really remember Jesse's ending, though I do remember how it just kept going ON and ON and ON.

Sarah said...

Good comments all.

I like "The Assassination of Jesse James" for a number of reasons: Brad Pitt's quiet, understated outlaw, Casey Affleck's twitchy, manipulative wannabe, the equally understated score and the muted cinematography and beautifully lonely landscapes.

Also, and I can't remember if anyone has mentioned this, seeing Nick Cave at the end as a guitar-strumming minstrel was AWESOME. Made my day.

I will have to concur with Nick that it was a bit lengthy, however.

I remember seeing the film in theaters with my boyfriend and some friends after dinner at an Italian restaurant. About halfway through the movie, I turned to find my boyfriend -- who had supped on red wine and gorgonzola gnocchi -- sound asleep. The whole thing was too much for him, poor dear.

Reel Whore said...

Pitt was great in this. When I rented it, I couldn't stop watching it. I was eating a huge stromboli while watching this and somehow scarfed the whole thing down while I was mesmerized by this flick!

elgringo said...

TAOJJBTCRF wasn't nominated by Michael Clayton was? Absolutely ridiculous. As much as I liked Juno last year, I'd have to say that TAOJJBTCRF (best acronym ever) kicked Juno's ass as far as Best Picture qualifications go.