Thursday, February 4, 2010

Send in the Basterds

Inglorious Basterds
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Eli Roth, Diane Kruger, Melanie Laurent
Released: 8/21/09

Oscar nominations:
Best Picture
Best Director - Quentin Tarantino
Best Supporting Actor - Christoph Waltz
Best Original Screenplay - Quentin Tarantino
Best Cinematography
Best Editing
Best Sound
Best Sound Editing

It seems a lot of people had been raving about this film and since it got some Oscar nominations in major categories and because I liked Pulp Fiction and loved the Kill Bill movies, I decided I should check it out.

First of all, if you get really squeamish easily or you're a huge history buff and hate it when movies mess with history, then I would not recommend this movie to you as both factors are quite prevalent in the film. I'm actually quite surprised it had been getting Oscar buzz for Best Picture (and ended up getting a nomination). Not because it's a bad movie, but because it seems like Hollywood takes their Holocaust/Nazi movies so seriously that I thought they would have been offended by the obvious history changes Inglorious Basterds gives them.

Brad Pitt is the leader of the group which kills Nazis. (And really, who doesn't want to kill Nazis?) He's nothing more than a caricature (especially the minute you hear his accent; his Italian "accent" is even more hilarious), but it's the supporting cast who are more interesting than him.

Christoph Waltz has been receiving many awards for Best Supporting Actor as a Nazi with a penchant for dairy products and will most likely win the Oscar unless there's, like, some huge upset. (Which there won't be because the Oscars are boring and predictable like that, but I still love them!) I remember last year I didn't see Milk or Vicky Christina Barcelona until after the Oscars. I completely understood why Sean Penn won his Oscar, but with Penelop Cruz, it was like, eh, she was okay, not the most memorable performance, she was much better in Volver. I kinda feel the same way as Waltz as I did with Cruz. He's good and deserves the nomination, but I'm not blown away by it or anything. (I haven't seen the other nominated performances so I can't tell you who I would like to see win).

Actually, I'm a little sad Melanie Laurent didn't get a nomination for Best Supporting Actress as the French Jew who escapes being killed by the Nazis and gets her own revenge when she hosts a screening of a Nazi-glorified film at her theater in Paris by locking the theater and setting fire to it. Laurent's storyline was my favorite, and believe me, the payoff is pretty awesome. It's worth the two and a half hours just to see the last act.

The movie is a bit long and I felt some of the dialogue was unnecessary - like the scene with Diane Kruger playing the celebrity card game with the soldiers. None of it advanced the plot further in any way and it was like, okay, what's the point of this? But that's Tarantino for you.

While not my favorite movie nominated for Best Picture this year, it certainly is better than others that were nominated. :::coughTheBlindSidecough::::

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