The BASTERDS Have Landed
Movies In Focus revisited Quentin Tarantino‘s 2009 film Inglorious Bastards for the first time in maybe eight or nine years. I remembered the two big stand-out scenes – the opening sequence and the tavern stand-off and they both hold-up incredibly well. We’ll be honest and say that the two moments feature some of Tarantino’s best work. They’re exceptionally well written, directed and acted – they drip with tension. The rest of the film also works and it’s probably Tarantino’s fourth best film, behind Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown and Reservoir Dogs.
Inglorious Bastards was the first movie where Tarantino’s started to riff on history, morphing facts to suit his narrative. He hasn’t made a contemporary since Death Proof in 2007, although it could be argued that all of his movies are set in some sort of alternate 1970s Twilight Zone.
The movie has an impressive cast: Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Michael Fassbender, Eli Roth, Diane Kruger, Daniel Brühl, Til Schweiger and Mélanie Laurent – who all deliver at a high level. Fassbender and Waltz were pretty much unknowns at the time of the film’s release and they were the break-out stars of the piece.
Tarantino used a few recycled musical cues from Ennio Morricone to great effect which helped give the film an added dimension and (dare I say) a touch of class. There’s something of a Brian DePalma vibe to the last act in the movie theatre, a luscious piece of cinema which rewrites history to great effect – something he would do again ten years later with Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.