Inglourious Basterds (2009)

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Directed and Written By: Quentin Tarantino

Starring: Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Eli Roth, Melanie Laurent, Diane Kruger

Nominated for 8 Academy Awards (Best Picture, Original Screenplay, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Film Editing, Directing, Cinematography, and Supporting Actor)

Won 1 Academy Award (Supporting Actor)

In Nazi occupied France, a group of American Jewish soldiers are sent to France to do “one thing and one thing only.. kill Nazi’s.” Is there honestly a better idea for a film than that? Who wouldn’t want to see a revenge thriller that’s about Jews getting revenge on the Nazi’s? Add the Tarantino flare, and Inglourious Basterds is one of the most gut-wrenching and intriguing films of all time.

Writer/Director Quentin Tarantino

Writer/Director Quentin Tarantino

I clicked play on my remote, not knowing that I was about to start the fastest 2 hours and 33 minutes of my life. There is no writer/director like Quentin Tarantino, and I’m beginning to wonder if there ever will be. He has such a driving vision behind each and every one of his films. To appreciate Tarantino’s films, the viewer has to get him. For example, in the beginning scene, the colors in the house are dark and deep to symbolize that something tragic is about to occur. A realist would say that the sun was shining bright outside; therefore, the house should be radiant with sunlight. Well, it’s a good thing that Mr. Tarantino is not a realist because his way of setting the mood is just one of the things that make his films spectacular. Quentin’s audacity to create a film like this mixed with the intelligence to make his vision come to life is what makes the film so fantastic.

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Oscar winner Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds.

The acting in Inglourious Basterds is nothing short of amazing. Brad Pitt’s character is not one that will earn any awards, but Pitt does  what the role calls for. Although the women, Melanie Laurent and Diane Kruger, never actually meet each other, their energy somehow manages to feed off of one another. From scene to scene you are inspired by these women’s performances. The only dull performance is Eli Roth. Sure, he looks tough, but it seems that is the only thing he was put in the movie to do. His lack of dialogue makes “the bear Jew” (Roth’s character) awkward and out of place. Limited dialogue has worked in some films (ex: The Driver in Drive), but “the bear jew” is not one of those characters. I made sure that I saved the best performance for last, now everyone please bow down to Mr. Christoph Waltz. While he is yet to prove that he can be a successful actor outside of Tarantino projects (Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained), he sure is good when he’s with Quentin. His performance  in Inglourious Basterds is capturing, and nothing short of amazing. His performance in this film as well as his performance in Django Unchained are both worthy of the Oscars that they received.

Overall, Quentin Tarantino managed to exceed expectations (even for him) with this timeless, instant classic. The viewer will find  scenes that play over and over again in their head. Inglourious Basterds is a film that all Tarantino fans must see or anyone that just wants to see Nazi’s get their asses kicked. I’m tempted to say that Tarantino has done it again, but I don’t think anyone has ever done or ever will do anything like Inglourious Basterds. A film this audacious will never win best picture, but Inglourious Basterds is more deserving than any other film released in 2009.

IMDb: 8.3/100 (#108 on the top 250)

Rotten Tomatoes: 88/100

Metacritic: 69/100

Best Picture Movie Reviews: 92/100

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The 85th Academy Awards Analysis

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Another year of Oscars is over, here’s a look at the winners:

  • Life of Pi- 4 Wins (Cinematography, Director, Score, Visual Effects)
  • Argo- 3 Wins (Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Editing)
  • Les Miserables- 3 Wins (Makeup/Hairstyling, Supporting Actress, Sound Mixing)
  • Django Unchained- 2 Wins (Supporting Actor, Original Screenplay)
  • Lincoln- 2 Wins (Actor, Production Design)
  • Skyfall- 2 Wins (Sound Editing, Original Song)
  • Silver Linings Playbook- 1 Win (Actress)
  • Amour- 1 Win (Foreign Language Film)
  • Zero Dark Thirty- 1 Win (Sound Editing)
  • Brave- 1 Win (Animated Feature)
  • Anna Karenina- 1 Win (Costume Design)
  • Searching for Sugarman- 1 Win (Documentary Feature)
  • Inocente- 1 Win (Documentary Short)
  • Paperman- 1 Win (Animated Short)
  • Curfew- 1 Win (Live Action Short)

Just some of me pointing out the obvious: No wins for Best Picture nominee Beasts of the Southern Wild. The Best Picture winner (Argo) did not win the most awards, that honor went to Life of Pi. Despite its 12 nominations, Lincoln only took home 2 awards. Something less obvious was that there was a tie in the Best Sound Editing category between Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty. This was the fifth tie in Academy Awards history (first in its category and first since 1994)

Well, congratulations to Argo! Did it deserve it? In a word, no.

When I watched Argo, I did not get the feeling that I was watching this years’ Best Picture.When I watched Lincoln, I felt the feeling that I was watching a movie worthy of the Best Picture statue. It was the same feeling that I got when watching movies such as The Kings’ Speech, A Beautiful Mind, Titanic, Million Dollar Baby (all past winners). So why did Argo win? Well, the biggest names in Hollywood vote on the Academy Awards, and Argo is a movie that makes Hollywood the hero. This already gave it an advantage, but when Ben Affleck got snubbed for Best Director, everyone felt bad for him, and decided to give him the Best Picture vote out of sympathy. At least this my theory. Argo was one of my favorite movies this year, and maybe the academy truly thought it was the best. So congratulations to Argo!

Best Actress, Actor, and Supporting Actress were all predictable, and I was happy about each winner.

The award that brought me the most joy this year was Best Supporting Actor. Christoph Waltz winning automatically made it a great night for me. I thought Tommy Lee Jones was great, but Christoph Waltz was the beauty behind Django, which is something I can not say about Jones in Lincoln.

Even though my prediction was for Spielberg, I was actually more happy to see Ang Lee win. Good for him. He seems to be a very gracious, humble man, in a business where humbleness is hard to come by.

I was quite successful in my predictions this year, but I did lose in the two biggest categories. With that being said, I was 8/10 in the awards that I care about: (* means that I was incorrect)

*Best Picture*, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, *Best Director*, Best Animated Feature Film, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Original Song

Next year I vow to be correct in every category ;).

2012 was a fantastic year that had just about everything. All we can hope is that 2010 and 2012 were not flukes (2011 was weak), and that there is a new sense of quality in films. Let’s hope for an equally as amazing 2013, and anything extra will be considered a bonus.

Oh, and who’s up for another year of Seth MacFarlane? He did a great job!