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  • [X]The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
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Moseying along for 160 minutes, this 2007 revisionist western by writer-director Andrew Dominik makes a wan attempt to present the Jesse James legend as the dawn of celebrity culture in America. That thesis is strengthened by having spotlight-weary Brad Pitt play the notorious outlaw near the end of his career, though the role is so opaque he doesn't have much to do besides stare murderously at the third-tier goofballs (Sam Rockwell, Paul Schneider) who now constitute the James gang. The real protagonist is Robert Ford, a whiny, ingratiating teen who joins up brimming with dime-novel visions of glory, eventually kills his idol, and still finds himself defined by James's legend. Casey Affleck gives a spectacularly creepy performance as the seething young man, whose mingled worship and resentment make him the prototype of the modern celebrity stalker. R.

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