Film Features

The Best Looking Films of All Time – The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

Unlike my previous entry in this series – The Revenant – this is a film I truly love. A poetic and intricate tale of one man’s doomed idolisation of another, Andrew Dominik’s epic western hit me hard from the very first time I saw it. A major reason for this is how amazing the film looks; frame after frame of beautiful composition, each one more striking than the next. It is often brought up in discussions about the best looking films ever, and might just be number one on my list.

Amazingly, this is the first entry in my series for cinematographer Roger Deakins, possibly my favourite person in all of cinema. If this is the best looking film ever than it’s obviously his best work as well, yet he has several others that would be in the conversation against it. Several of the more picturesque sequences of the film utilise the golden hour, as all great cinematographers do, yet it is in the moments of darkness where Deakins’ work really shines. The use of blurring, film-processing effects and time-lapse sequences are just some of the visual pleasures to be had. If any film is worth sitting through two-and-a-half hours purely for the cinematography, this is it.

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