The Saving Of Jesse James or The Death Of An American Classic: You Choose.

Much has been written in the blogosphere (whither the mainstream media?) about what is being called Warner Brothers’ clear and shameful dumping of the masterpiece that is Andrew Dominik’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and while it’s clear that the studio isn’t putting as much money behind this films as say, Michael Clayton, they aren’t exactly completely dumping it out of malice aforethought, either. Suffice to say that the film is going to need some help from us, the folks that love it, if it’s going to survive more than a week or two more and no amount of hectoring and badgering of Warners is going to get them to throw what they likely see as “good money after bad.”
What is going to get them to release the film wider and wider still? Banging the drums about this extraordinary film, that’s what. Blog the fuck out of it. Link to this blog and others. Tell your friends to see it. Find every possible positive review you can and add them to your Digg, del.icio.us, Twitter, Fark, Facebook, etc. (see “Bookmark” button in this post). If you feel at all passionate about this film, force your friends to see it. Bribe them. Go with them, even if you’ve already seen it. From what I’ve been told, this film is much like “next day” spaghetti in that it’s something that’s even better the second time around. I will be making my 2nd trip to see it later this week.
This past weekend’s gross numbers are an improvement for the 3rd straight week and to their credit, Warners has expanded from 5 to 61 to 163 to 301 theaters, even in the face of a raft of blog posts accusing them of outright dumping the film. I must confess, I was one of them, but I have moderated my opinion a bit. It’s silly for me to assume that a giant entertainment corporation is going to take a huge chance on a film like Jesse James by releasing it on over a thousand screens from the start. However, awards season is upon us and the “serious” awards contenders are going to be flooding the theaters from here on in, so if you like this film, tell you friends to see it before all others.
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Like I said, awards season is coming and with the proper push, this film has a chance to get quite a few nods. As I’ve written before, it deserves nominations for best picture, actor, supporting actors (Casey Affleck and Paul Schneider), screenplay and director (both Dominik), cinematography (Roger Deakins), score (Nick Cave and Bad Seeds band mate Warren Ellis) and editing (Dylan Tichenor and Curtiss Clayton). Tack on to those, art direction and costume design and you’ve got a healthy 12 noms. Am I dreaming? Probably, but that’s how good this film is.
An LA-based member of the Academy recently told me that the film is only scheduled to have 2 screenings for Academy members, while other films have over a dozen screenings scheduled. If you’re an AMPAS member (or WGA, DGA, SAG, for that matter) call and email Warner Brothers and demand more screenings. The only way this film is going to get the respect it’s due is for us all to do our part. Like I said, write about it. DIGG posts about it. Make it del.icio.us. Fark it. Facebook it. Make it a test case for social media and blogging. Can we make a diference? I don’t know, but I’m willing to try. How about you?
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Other posts about this extraordinary film:
The Assassination of Jesse James, by Lisa Schwartzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, by Todd McCarthy, Variety
New Republic says Jesse James movie is best of the year so far, by Christopher Orr, The New Republic
The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, Scott Tobias, The Onion’s A.V. Club
In unqualified praise of THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD, Movie reviews for greedy capitalist bastards
Assassination of Jesse James Is Worth Your Patience , by Edward Allen, The Des Moines Register
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, d+kaz: On Moving Images & Motion Pictures
‘Jesse James’ epic gives elegant insight into bandit icon, by A.J. Fox, The Dartmouth
A Test Case for Social Media and Blogging!- The Assassination of Jesse James

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