Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Inglourious Basterds

I've been reading very mixed reviews of Quentin Tarantino's latest film "Inglourious Basterds" in the Irish press, yet over on, it's scoring a solid 88% approval rating. Hmm. The only thing to do in such a situation is to watch it for yourself.

Tarantino has always had a grĂ¡ for the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone and the like, and the opening "chapter" of the film clearly demonstrates this influence. Hans Lada of the SS (known throughout Nazi-occupied France as the "Jew-hunter" and played brilliantly by Cristoph Waltz) has located the Jewish Dreyfuss family. Only one member escapes - Shoshanna. In Chapter 2, we learn that Shoshanna is now the proprietress of a cinema in Paris (under an assumed identity). A chain of fortuitious events leads to Goebbels choosing her cinema as the location for spectacular premiere of a new Nazi propaganda film.

On a parallet plot, we have Lt Aldo Raine (a southern-talking Brad Pitt) and his band of merry men (the Basterds) who are wreaking havoc and terror throughout the Nazi ranks in France. A british agent is dropped to meet them with a plot to blow up the German high command at the fim premiere. Little do they know that Shoshanna also has her own plans for the night.

This is a classic Tarantino film. There's no doubting that - it's got the usual pop culture, music and look. Tarantino has a gift for getting fine performances from his actors and while Brad Pitt is truly excellent, it is Cristoph Waltz who steals the show.

Despite being a little too long, and a little too smug, I really enjoyed the film. It is very funny and Tarantino delivers without being over the top. It's surely got to be one of his better films.

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