LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF VENGEANCE.
In 1858, a German bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) buys a slave, Django (Jamie Foxx), and makes a deal with him: if Django helps him identify three wanted brothers, he’s a free man. With Quentin Tarantino, you know what you’re getting – this unashamedly blood-soaked, overlong spaghetti Western pays homage to movies like Django (1966) and Mandingo (1975) but is also clearly related to his own Inglourious Basterds (2009), now with slaves instead of persecuted Jews. Clever, wickedly entertaining, but suffers from a weaker third act. Inspired performances by Waltz – and Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson as master and slave.
2012-U.S. 165 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin, Pilar Savone. Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Cinematography: Robert Richardson. Cast: Jamie Foxx (Django Freeman), Christoph Waltz (King Schultz), Leonardo DiCaprio (Calvin Candie), Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Walton Goggins… James Remar, Don Johnson, Franco Nero, Russ Tamblyn, Amber Tamblyn, Bruce Dern, Jonah Hill, Robert Carradine, Tom Savini, Quentin Tarantino.
Trivia: Will Smith was allegedly considered for the lead.
Oscars: Best Supporting Actor (Waltz), Original Screenplay. Golden Globes: Best Supporting Actor (Waltz), Screenplay. BAFTA: Best Supporting Actor (Waltz), Original Screenplay.
Last word: “What happened during slavery times is a thousand times worse than [what] I show. So if I were to show it a thousand times worse, to me, that wouldn’t be exploitative, that would just be how it is. If you can’t take it, you can’t take it. Now, I wasn’t trying to do a ‘Schindler’s List’ you-are-there-under-the-barbed-wire-of-Auschwitz. I wanted the film to be more entertaining than that. But there’s two types of violence in this film: There’s the brutal reality that slaves lived under for… 245 years, and then there’s the violence of Django’s retribution. And that’s movie violence, and that’s fun and that’s cool, and that’s really enjoyable and kind of what you’re waiting for.” (Tarantino, NPR)