My Favorite Films of the Last Decade #10

Lt. Aldo Raine: …we will be cruel to the Germans, and through our cruelty they will know who we are. And they will find the evidence of our cruelty in the disemboweled, dismembered, and disfigured bodies of their brothers we leave behind us. And the German won’t not be able to help themselves but to imagine the cruelty their brothers endured at our hands, and our boot heels, and the edge of our knives. And the German will be sickened by us, and the German will talk about us, and the German will fear us. And when the German closes their eyes at night and they’re tortured by their subconscious for the evil they have done, it will be with thoughts of us they are tortured with. Sound good?

10. Inglourious Basterds (2009) – Dir. Quentin Tarantino

It sounds great… This was not at all the movie I expected. It exceeded my expectations. Going in, I thought I was getting a straight-up Dirty Dozen, Kelly’s Heroes, Where Eagles Dare kind of action picture, with a rag-tag group of military men wreaking havoc on the enemy. I should’ve known better. I should’ve known that the man who brought us Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill would deliver something wholly unexpected.

From its amazing Sergio Leone-like opening to its fiery, fictionalized ending of World War II, Inglourious Basterds is a film in flux, seamlessly transitioning from beautiful idyll to horrific atrocity and back again with such ease its almost poetic, which is kinda strange to say of a film billed as Nazi-bashing tour de force.

Tarantino’s preternatural attention to detail seems yet to have reached its pinnacle. As Col. Hans Landa, Christopher Waltz’s immeasurable charm only adds to his disquieting menace. Brad Pitt seems to be having a great time, it imbues his performance with a joie de vivre and humor that lightens the dark subject matter. Mélanie Laurent is a pleasant surprise as Shosanna Dreyfus… I could go on and on raving about the cast. Michael Fassbinder, Diane Kruger, Til Schweiger, they’re all great.

It’s a brilliant film, and far more than just mindless Nazi-killing, though there’s nothing really wrong with that either. And as much as I love Kill Bill (Volumes 1 & 2), I love Inglourious Basterds a little more. So… no, Kill Bill will not be on my top 20 of the decade, not because it isn’t a great film, but because one caveat I gave myself in making this list was I couldn’t have any directors represented more than once. I do still love me some Kill Bill… I’d even sit through both volumes back to back…

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13 responses to “My Favorite Films of the Last Decade #10

  1. Was on my list of course…but I don’t know about limiting your list to one director.

    Sometimes that’s fun and can make things interesting, but you should make that clear from the beginning.

  2. Hear hear! I loved this movie. I thought I would like it, but it was so much more clever and terrifying and well, better, than I imagined. Suck it, Private Ryan!

  3. It’s not just Peter Jackson that will be on here multiple times as you well know.

    But I get making it a challenge and thinking of something new.

    I guess so long as you mentioned it eventually so by the end you can explain away something so glaring with your stupid rule.

    • Whatever, Mr. “Three movies as one.” Some of us like some semblance of structure sometimes. Don’t try to make me feel guilty for giving myself a challenge rather than taking the easy way out and just packing my list with a majority of films by my favorite directors. And you call Brad Pitt a director-whore. For shame, Bryan.

  4. I can’t help it if the same people make the best movies repeatedly…I’m just calling it like I see it.

    For the record I have 3 director repeats, 4 if you count LOTR and Charlie Kaufman twice as well.

    I did try to mix it up, but some movies refused to be denied. Take it up with them.

  5. Pingback: Tweets that mention My Favorite Films of the Last Decade #10 | Shooting the Script -- Topsy.com

  6. Pingback: Inglourius Basterds | Movie Beat

  7. Pingback: Top Twenty Films of the Decade – Recap | Shooting the Script

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