Golden Globes Best Picture Nominee: Inglourious Basterds
by Nicholas Robinson
In Nazi occupied France, young Jewish refugee Shosanna Dreyfus (Melanie Laurent) witnesses the slaughter of her family by Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz). Narrowly escaping with her life, she plots her revenge several years later when German war hero Fredrick Zoller (Daniel Bruhl) takes a rapid interest in her and arranges an illustrious movie premiere at the theater she now runs. With the promise of every major Nazi officer in attendance, the event catches the attention of the “Basterds”, a group of Jewish-American guerilla soldiers led by the ruthless Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt). As the relentless executioners advance and the conspiring young girl’s plans are set in motion, their paths will cross for a fateful evening that will shake the very annals of history. – IMDB.com
Here is the latest movie written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Now, before I start, I would like to say that there is the Tarantino fan inside me that wants to say that this movie is perfect. However, I cannot. There are so many things I love about this movie; the acting, story, directing and music but there are a few things that I would have liked to have been different. Before we get into that though, I would like to start with the good things.
When I saw the teaser for this movie and heard Brad Pitt’s accent I laughed hysterically because I didn’t think it suited a movie of this caliber. However, when I walked into the theater and I started to watch the movie, it was still ridiculous, but it fit, Tarantino style. The acting in the movie was all amazing. Whether it was Brad Pitt and Christoph Waltz portraying their characters perfectly to the small, but hilarious role of Mike Myers as General Ed Fenech briefing Lt. Archie Hicox (Michael Fassbender) on Operation Kino, it was spot-on. There was nothing to complain about there, but still, the spotlight must shine.
Christoph Waltz played his part perfectly. Colonel Hans Landa reminds me of a character portrayed many times in film. He is someone who always has his wits about him and is always 10 steps ahead of everyone else. However, Christoph Waltz did it in such a way that when you think of that type of character, you think of him first. His character makes you want to laugh, cry and know that you would piss your pants in fear if you were his enemy (whether Jew, American or German traitor) in that movie and he does it with thorough politeness and a manner that would even make Arnold Schwarzenegger nervous.
Brad Pitt also plays his part perfectly. Lt. Aldo Raine, the Tennessee hillbilly who seems to be able to hit the Germans where it hurts, once again always has his wits about him (as explained in his bootleggin’ speech), even though he seems like he doesn’t. These two characters are the main source of comedy throughout this movie without looking like their trying to be funny and no matter how good the script is, unless the actors can not look like they’re trying to be funny, it will always look like they’re trying and I have to give these two kudos for that.
One more character that I should mention is Frederick Zoller. The way Daniel Bruhl portrayed this character reminded me of villains in some horror movies such as Funny Games. He is polite and charming for quite a while and then “BOOM!”, he turns mean and nasty and does really bad things to you as shown near the end of the film. Well done, Daniel, well done.
The story was just amazing. The first three chapters seem very different to each other (even though chapter three relates to chapter one in some regard), but Quentin has once again found a way to bring it all together in a manner that no other writer could. I loved the way Tarantino created tension in the scene without any sort of violence or stare down, just dialogue and music. This was shown perfectly in the first scene in the introduction to Hans Landa and also in most subsequent scenes. The only real problem I had with this story is that I wish that I could have seen more of the Basterds’ storyline as they are the movies namesake, but why mess with a good thing ‘ey?
The direction was amazing. I loved the placement of all the shots. Especially, the low angle shots after Aldo marked the survivors with a swastika (which btw is in every Tarantino movie, but normally from a trunk) and the slow motion in the projector room near the end of the movie. However, there were a few things that were obviously fake. For example, when Hugo Stiglitz (Til Schweiger) was stabbing one of the Gestapo officers through a pillow, the pillow was obviously a blood bag. But other than that, it was just perfect.
Obviously, as this is a Tarantino movie, the score was perfect and needed no changes. Every song fit every scene and was perfectly timed. Another Tarantino trademark is some very ridiculous and whimsical choices of anything to do with a movie and for this specific movie, that thing is the large banner of Hugo Stiglitz’s name across the screen in 70’s funky font. I found it hilarious and I loved it. Many people may disagree with me, but they shall not influence me!
Overall, this is an amazing movie that deserves at least 2 viewings just in case you were high the first time and thought you didn’t like it or even if you did, it is just that amazing.
IMDB says 8.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes says 88%
I say 9.3/10