Tuesday, August 25, 2009


War action/drama
Portions in German or French with English subtitles

Christoph Waltz: Colonel Hans Landa of the Waffen-SS
Denis Menochet: French dairy farmer Perrier LaPadite
Brad Pitt: U.S. Army Lt. Aldo Raine, commanding officer First Special Service Force
Eli Roth: Sgt. Donny Donowitz, one of the squad
Mélanie Laurent: Emmanuelle Mimieux, owner of a Parisian cinema
Daniel Brühl: German sharpshooter Private Frederick Zoller
Michael Fassbender: British Army Lt. Archie Hicox
Diane Kruger: German movie star Bridget von Hammersmark
Alexander Fehling: German Cpl. Wilhelm Wicki
August Diehl: SS Major Deiter Hellstrom
Jacky Ido: Emmanuelle’s assistant Marcel

“Once upon a time ... in Nazi-occupied France,” the title card informs us so right away we know that what follows may not be consistent with fact. What we get instead is a fast paced, exciting, action adventure war movie. Told in five chapters at times often utilising the spaghetti-Western technique(especially the music) including some very clever dialogue.

The performances are uniformly good (although Waltz’s is the best), the costumes and cinematography top notch.

One word of caution: there are quite a few grisly scenes that may require you to avert your eyes. Generally these can be anticipated but some will catch even the wary off guard.

Although at two hours and 35 minutes it is longer than most films, the time passes so quickly I was surprised when the end credits began to roll. I was not surprised with the applause.

for strong graphic violence, language and brief sexuality (very brief: about 3 seconds worth)

• Moving at a pretty good speed the two motorcycles and car approaching the farm house would travel much farther than they do during the cutaways to LaPadite and his daughters.
• Col. Hans Landa says the Bubonic Plague was caused by rats. This infection of the lymphatic system resulted from the bite of an infected flea, not from its host.
• Colonel Landa fills his pen from the small ink well which remains in place at first in bright light, then in shadow and back again to bright light.
• Although we hear the ticking throughout Col. Landa’s visit, the hands of the clock remain stuck at 11:40.
• The card Major Hellstrom sticks on his forehead changes positions even though he doesn’t touch it: sometimes it’s vertical or at a slant at eyebrow level and other times it’s part way down the bridge of his nose.

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