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Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Film review: Inglourious Basterds (2009), directed by Quentin Tarantino

ingloriousbasterdsSecond night of the rented films, and the movie which I was interested in watching. Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds. It’s a Tarantino film, so logically, it’s pretty graphically gruesome in places.

The Basterds are a group of Jewish-American soldiers who are dropped into Nazi occupied France to “kill Nazis”. Their lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt in a broad Southern accent) is inspired by the Apaches, and tells his men to scalp the Nazis they kill – and they all owe him 100 scalps. Those that aren’t killed and scalped get something to remember them by – a swastika carved into their foreheads. Yum.

The movie follows the Basterds who are doing their best to collect scalps and thereby annoying the Führer. It also follows German superstar actress and ally double-agent Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger) and a woman (Mélanie Laurent) who poses as cinema owner Emanuelle Mimieux… when she is in fact Shosanna Dreyfus, the daughter of a Jewish dairy farmer. Her family were hiding under the floorboards in a neighbour’s house, when they’re detected by the “Jewhunter” colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz), a psychotic Nazi, and brutally slaughtered. Shosanna managed to get away, and now she’s plotting revenge. Revenge that gets a breakthrough when private Fredrick Zoller (Daniel Brühl) decides to take a shine to her and her cinema.

Inglorious Basterds doesn’t claim to be historically accurate by any means. They’ve taken the World War 2 setting, Nazis occupying France and then gone and made up the rest. The ending was definitely the as historically incorrect as you can get, and it makes you wonder “what if?”. The funniest part of the movie was when they had decided to pose as Italians, as that’s the only other language any of them had any knowledge of (certainly not German!), and Aldo being the one who spoke it the best. Then Bridget introduces him as an Italian stunt man, and he simply says “buon giorno” in THE broadest American accent you could EVER imagine. That had us in stitches!

Tall, dark and handsome Eli Roth, who played Sgt. Donny Donowitz, looks a lot like a thirtysomething Ken Olin, by which I mean two things: when he was in his 30s which was also when he was one of the stars of the TV-series by that very same name. Anyone who reminds me of Ken Olin automatically gets my vote. I wonder what Eli Roth will look like in a few years, because a fortysomething Ken Olin… helloooooooo nurse! *swoon* Incidentally, Olin is actually Jewish, and funnily enough, Roth looks more like his son than his real-life son does (Olin Jr’s the one on the right). Fancy that.

Daniel Brühl carries off a uniform very well, it has to be said. He also broods rather well, which can be seen in a scene from the movie Nation’s Pride, which can be found in the extras on the Blu-ray disc. The brooding look just goes on for just a little too long.

I really enjoyed the performances of everyone, but I’ll only point out a few: Mélanie Laurent as Shosanna and Christoph Waltz as Hans Landa. Landa really did make your skin crawl in the most unpleasant of ways. “I wish I had a daughter so I could forbid her to marry one!” Just everything he said, every gesture… creepy! Mike Myers made a brief appearance as a British general, and it took a while before I realised it was actually him, as the make-up department had disguised him quite well.

Michael Fassbender, Azazeal in Hex, put on a splendid super-English accent. I found it quite funny how his character was said to have a funny accent, considering the guy’s actually half German and speaks the language fluently. And looking him up I just saw something which I HAVE to talk about in another post ASAP!!! OMG OMG OMG!! Calm yourself, girl.

No, I can’t calm down, so I’ll wrap this up.

It’s a good film, Tarantino fans won’t be disappointed, and for people who aren’t necessarily fans of Tarantino but like a good film, they shouldn’t be disappointed either. They’re killin’ Nazis and killin’ ’em good and proper, and you’re well entertained along the way. “Down with Hitler!”

5 out of 5 cinemas.

Traxy Thornfield

A Swedish introvert residing in Robin Hood Country (Nottingham, UK) with a husband and two cats. She's an eager participant in tabletop and play-by-post roleplaying, woodworking, photography and European travel, when there's not a plague on. Might get a novel out one of these days, if she doesn't get too distracted along the way.

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