Friday, August 28, 2009

Christoph Waltz and Inglourious Basterds

Here's the the first sure thing in the Actors' races this year. Christoph Waltz has a lock on a Best Supporting Actor nomination. I went to Inglourious Basterds this evening expecting great things from this guy, and I got them. The man commands every scene he's in. Brad Pitt, one of the biggest stars of today and easily one of the most famous men on the planet, couldn't hold a candle to his screen presence. That's saying something.

This is one time I'm pleased to know The Weinstein Company will run a brutal campaign, because I know awards lead to great career opportunities. Congratulations to Mr. Waltz, the attention is well-deserved.

As for my thoughts on Inglourious Basterds, I have to admit I have the same measured enthusiasm I have for most of Tarantino's films. The premise is loads of fun, the dialogue is fantastic as usual, and the characters (especially Waltz's Hans Landa) are engaging. Below the line work is top-notch, too, with beautiful cinematography and art direction, as well as great costumes.

But I was annoyed here and there with Quentin's continuing trend of self-indulgence. I also felt that there wasn't much of a flow to the film. It played more like several well-constructed individual scenes shown back-to-back.

Some of my criticisms may simply be a matter of taste, however. Inglourious Basterds made for a fun night in the theater, and one I'd freely recommend to anyone who enjoys Tarantino's work. If for no other reason, buy a ticket to watch Christoph Waltz work some magic, particularly in the beyond brilliant opening scene.


Danny King said...

Even though I think I liked the film more than you, I still agree with you on a lot of points, such as the brilliance of Waltz's performance, and the masterpiece that is the opening scene.

I disagree somewhat on Pitt's performance. I thought he was great and did all he could, Waltz just had a more intriguing character.

Rae Kasey said...

I didn't mean to imply that Pitt wasn't great. He definitely was entertaining and got a lot of laughs from the audience I saw it with, he just paled in comparison to Waltz, in my opinion.

Danny King said...

Okay, I must've misunderstood. I do agree that Waltz was in a different league than everyone else in the film, and, considering how good the performance were, that is really saying something.

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