OTTAWA’S CINEMA FOR INTERNATIONAL AND INDEPENDENT MOVIES

Django Unchained

Winner of two Academy Awards, Best Supporting Actor (Christoph Waltz) and Best Original Screenplay!

Poster art for Django UnchainedIn the past decade there were those who assumed that Quentin Tarantino’s time had passed. Following the exhaustive movie-geek sprawl of the Kill Bill movies and the crass indulgence of Death Proof, it seemed like the ultimate fanboy had slipped into a terminal, self-congratulatory decline. Well, somebody’s clearly rattled his cage, because Django Unchained, for all its digressive, episodic and frequently ludicrous nature, is a blazing return to form.

Last time around, Tarantino gave the Nazi top brass what for. This time, the topic for irreverent dissection is American slavery: Jamie Foxx is Django, freed from a chain gang by German bounty hunter Schultz (Christoph Waltz), and on a mission to rescue his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington). Only trouble is, Hildy is owned by moustache-twirling slavemaster Calvin Candy (Leonardo DiCaprio), whose ugly reputation precedes him.

Django Unchained feels a little ersatz, favouring momentary thrills over lasting emotional punch,  but this is a film bursting with pleasures: the note-perfect performances, a brace of close-to-the-bone, borderline offensive moments (Samuel L Jackson’s character will make jaws drop), the soaring cine-literate soundtrack, the sheer, relentless drive. So welcome back, Quentin. All may not be forgiven quite yet, but keep this up and even Death Proof may vanish in the rearview.

– Tom Huddleston, Time Out

 

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