However the film seems to struggle to get beyond this.... each event is tacked on to the next without a sense of dramatic construction and the very matter-of-fact narration gives it a documentary feel. Indeed, alongside the very theatrical cinematographic composition it often made me think of some 're-enactment' on the UKTV History channel... interesting, but not emotionally captivating. Despite strong performances by all of the cast they seem wasted, mere colouring to the otherwise dry sequence laid out by the narrator. Some comedy here, some romance there... but the script seems to lack cohesion or direction.
The tension builds and wanes until you're left wondering when the film's 'point' will actually be made. To me it seems that this doesn't arrive until the last half hour, whilst the preceding 2 hours are spent 'setting the scene.' I wasn't bored because the elegance of the production kept me in expectation of some profound resolution, but I did walk out at the end feeling a little cheated (and baffled by the farcical Nick Cave cameo, who's soundtrack is otherwise suitably moody).
Worth a look, but don't expect to learn much beyond the fact that Jesse James was killed by the coward Robert Ford.