Aye indeed, earlier this year I spent many-a-blog-post ranting and raving about how jaw-droppingly amazing this astonishing piece of filmmaking was ... and my opinion hasn't changed one bit.
As I sit here listening to the soundtrack (which is beautiful, by the way), my love for this film - which has found it's way into my Top Ten (well, my version of a Top Ten anyway, where only a #1 exists alongside 9 equals) - hasn't abated one iota.
Yes, the first hour might be a tad ponderous, but the train robbery is a superb sequence and the low that follows that high (as seen through the eyes of James himself mostly) is all working towards a vengeance & paranoia tainted second hour, at which point the eponymous scene smacks you about the face with it's mournful, moving attitude. It is loaded with weighted emotion, with conflict, with acceptance of fate ... it's spell-binding quite simply.
Then, a rather brisk final half hour links back to earlier in the film (vibe wise anyway), with the low after the high (for the characters I mean, not us viewers who have been gorging on a treat throughout). Bob, the assassin, and his co-hort in the act descend into a pit of misery, despair, anguish and regret before the final, heart-grabbing, spine-tingling scene ... then after a good ten seconds of pause, the bold and proud title presents itself alongside the wonderfully haunting sound of Nick Cave's score.
Those who might say it's crap and is dull and boring, quite simply do not "get" it ... and I confidently stand beside that assertion, because the film truly has something to "get" in the first place. If you do "get it", you are rewarded ten fold ... if not, it's clearly not the film for you.
I don't "get" Bollywood, but I don't deny it, or discourage it, or dampen the spirit of those who enjoy it, so likewise, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, should be afforded the same open-mindedness ... because, quite frankly, it is filmmaking genius.
Truly awe inspiring.