best film: The Assassination of Jesse James is a masterpiece and the best film of almost any year except for 2007 (which includes There Will Be Blood). Parts of it feel like a Malick film—it’s certainly that gorgeous and the crowning achievement of legendary DP Roger Deakins. Good Will Hunting, Interstellar, Ocean’s Thirteen, Manchester by the Sea and To Die For are all right there in terms of top 10 of the year quality but they can’t come close to the brilliance of Jesse James.
best performance: The Assassination of Jesse James is his best work despite the Oscar in in 2016 for Manchester by the Sea. It’s those two films though that hover far above everything else in Casey’s filmography (and that weaker rest of his top 5 and filmography is what’s keeping him from being a top 75 or even 50 actor of all-time). In Jesse James both he and Brad Pitt are brilliant. The casting, selecting Affleck to play the man with a crippling inferiority complex (hello younger brother of famous, more handsome Ben Affleck) that is both sympathetic and eerily creepy—just so well done. Affleck is mesmerizing and it’s one of the best performances of the 00’s decade.
stylistic innovations/traits: Boyish looks (even post age 40) who can play rage (Gone Baby Gone, Manchester by the Sea) and inner turmoil. Assassination proved his boundless talent in 2007 but he went quiet after that and it looked like, unlike Manchester, that he might go down as sort of a one-hit wonder. Hopefully the 2017 Oscar opens up better roles in the future.
directors worked with: Van Sant (2) – both 20+ year’s ago and in supporting and Soderbergh (2) as part of the Ocean’s trilogy (only two of which are in the archives).
Top 5 Performances:
- The Assassination of Jesse James
- Manchester by the Sea
- Gone Baby Gone
- Out of the Furnace
- Good Will Hunting
|1995- To Die For|
|1997- Good Will Hunting|
|2001- Ocean’s Eleven|
|2007- Gone Baby Gone|
|2007- Ocean’s Thirteen|
|2007- The Assassination of Jesse James|
|2013- Ain’t Them Bodies Saints|
|2013- Out of the Furnace|
|2016- Manchester By the Sea|