Inglourious Basterds (2009)



Movie Title: Inglourious Basterds

Year Released: 2009

Rated: R

Runtime: 2h 33min

Genre: Action, Drama, War

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Writer: Quentin Tarantino

Starring: Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Michael Fassbender, Eli Roth, Diane Kruger, Daniel Brühl, Til Schweiger, Mélanie Laurent, Gedeon Burkhard, Jacky Ido, B.J. Novak, Omar Doom, August Diehl, Denis Ménochet, Sylvester Groth, Martin Wuttke, Mike Myers, Julie Dreyfus

Review: It is the first year of Germany's occupation of France. Allied officer Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) assembles a team of Jewish soldiers to commit violent acts of retribution against the Nazis, including the taking of their scalps. He and his men join forces with Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger), a German actress and undercover agent, to bring down the leaders of the Third Reich. Their fates converge with theater owner Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent), who seeks to avenge the Nazis' execution of her family.

Inglourious Basterds is one hell of a bloody, violent, and hilarious roller coaster. Quentin Tarantino is masterful in developing a revisionist adaptation of the events taking place during WWII Europe; aided by outstanding performances from Christoph Waltz, Brad Pitt, and Mélanie Laurent among others. Tarantino successfully blends incredible writing, riveting action, and outrageous comedy all into one movie. Inglourious Basterds hits the ground running with one of the best opening scenes in cinematic history. The interrogation of Denis Ménochet's Perrier LaPadite by Christoph Waltz's Hans Landa is some truly fantastic writing. The scene is essentially one long conversation that culminates with an event that sets the basis for a part of the movie's plot. Both actors are brilliant in conveying the tonal shift of the scene from light-hearted to heart-wrenching. Brad Pitt and his band of "Basterds" provide a source of comic relief as they torture Nazi soldiers with some, shall we say, unconventional methods. Case in point, Eli Roth plays a baseball bat-wielding soldier affectionately referred to as "The Bear Jew."

On a more serious note, I also think it should be mentioned that Mélanie Laurent is great as a young Jewish girl who had her life changed forever following early events in the film. She sees her shot at revenge and magnificently plays the role of Shosanna Dreyfus/Emmanuelle Mimieux with so much conviction and intensity. I'm not the biggest fan of reading subtitles, but it doesn't matter here as the writing is so well done, that having to read subtitles actually helps you immerse yourself into the movie. I don't have enough good things to say about this film. It's entertainment value is through the roof and truly one of Quentin Tarantino's best films to date!

Just like Teddy Williams, Quentin Tarantino knocked this one out of the park! And that's a bingo!

Stars (out of 4):
       

Fun Fact: Quentin Tarantino was considering abandoning the film while the casting search for someone to play Colonel Hans Landa took place, fearing he'd written a role that was unplayable. After Christoph Waltz auditioned, however, both Tarantino and producer Lawrence Bender agreed that they had found the perfect actor for the role. Waltz eventually won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Landa.



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