Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Read this article with caution, because it may contain some spoilers!
The story is set in alternative history in Nazi-occupied France during World War II, where a group of Jewish-American soldiers known as “The Basterds” are chosen specifically to spread fear throughout the Third Reich by scalping and brutally killing Nazis.
Tarantino is very known for his strong female roles and Inglourious Basterds is no exception. An elite assassin Beatrix Kiddo aka Black Mamba / The Bride and a flight attendant Jackie Brown are just a few examples of Tarantino’s obsession with portraying powerful women in his movies. In Inglourious Basterds the title goes to Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent) who loses her family by the evil hands of Col. Hans Landa. She returns to Nazi-occupied France to claim an old cinema that she inherited from her deceased family, where she plans her bloody revenge on the Nazis. This phenomenon can be explained by the fact that Tarantino was raised by a career-driven successful single-mother and her effect can be seen in almost all of Tarantino’s movies.
Tarantino is no stranger to the Cannes red carpet, had he won the prestigious Palme d’Or for Pulp Fiction back in 1994. This May he returned there with Inglourious Basterds, which was the only American film to receive any prizes in Cannes this year, when Christoph Waltz won the award for Best Actor. Waltz portrayed Colonel Hans Landa, the sinister yet poetic pipe-smoking “Jew Hunter”. I have to admit that I had never heard of him before, but after Inglourious Basterds he skyrocketed to the top of my list of European actors. Not only is his character perfectly written, Waltz’s interpretation of Landa is absolutely mind-blowing. His performance alone is more than enough reason to go see the film.
Inglourious Basterds is daring, original and very entertaining, especially for movie nerds like myself. In every frame you can see and feel Tarantino’s true love for films. It is the perfect combination of a spaghetti western, war movie and revenge story with the perfect (and long anticipated) alternative ending to history. No doubt this film is getting nominations at the Oscars.