Saturday, September 19, 2009

Review - Inglorious Basterds

While it has some notable redeeming factors, Quinten Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds is one of the auteur's less engaging works. The main problem is that it peaks way too soon. The opening sequence is a superbly written and acted scene that gets big points for suspense and tension. Due credit goes to cast standout Christopher Waltz, who plays a devilish but polite S.S. Officer known for his proficiency at hunting Jews. Waltz's charming manners therefore have a disquieting effect, given the atrocious things he says and does. However, nothing that follows is up to the standard of that first scene, and many proceeding scenes extend longer than they need to (coming in at over 2.5 hours, this film could seriously have used a more economical script). But the length is only one of the screenplay's faults. This particular film could actually have done without Tarantino's trademark gimmicks, which seem out of place in the historical setting.

This is to say nothing of the setting itself, which is beautifully realized by Tarantino's crew. It may not be his best film, but it's certainly his most prettily crafted, showing off terrific sets and costumes, slickly shot by Robert Richardson, and given an interesting soundtrack by music supervisor Mary Ramos.

Many have talked up Christopher Waltz has the man to beat as of now for Supporting Actor, and it would be justified. Beyond that, Inglorious Basterds may have a tough time finding Academy recognition, but if it scores anywhere, it'll likely be for Art Direction, Costume Design, or Cinematography.

**1/2 out of ****

2 comments:

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Nice to see I was not the only person with mixed feelings. Waltz was very good but I could not help being impressed with Diane Kruger.

The Oscar Nazi said...

Kruger was good, but I actually responded more to Melanie Laurent's performance. It had no attention-demanding gimmicks, yet she played it so well.