Inglourious Basterds ★★★★★

The last time I watched Inglourious Basterds was in a movie theater in 2009. Upon revisiting it last night I was surprised to find I liked it even more the second time around.

I was almost surprised at how often I found myself laughing at Brad Pitt's character's facial expressions, he was really great as Lt. Aldo Raine. Mélanie Laurent was also fantastic as the brave, intelligent and dedicated, escaped Jewish Frenchwoman named Shosanna who owns a little movie theater in Nazi occupied France. I loved her character even more when she was putting on her war paint to the tune of David Bowie's "Cat People" (Putting Out Fire). There is a scene where Shosanna is unwillingly and unexpectedly sitting at a table with the Colonel Hans Landa (Christopher Waltz), the Nazi Gestapo who slaughtered her entire family as she escaped from her temporary refuge under the floorboards of a family of dairy farmers. They sit and discuss plans of having a "National Pride" film premiered at her theater, as soon as Col. Landa excuses himself from the table and appears to be out of sight, Shosanna lets out this hysterical noise of minor hyperventilation which was so devastatingly real. In that short scene following some tense dialogue Mélanie Laurent cemented herself in my mind as a brilliant actor capable of bringing realistically human reactions to tense situations. I really can not get over her performance. Her character at first glance almost seems underdeveloped but in that lack of on-screen explanations she lets us all know exactly what is going on and what has gone on through expressive interactions using her physical expressions and most importantly, her eyes. That, my friends, is natural talent.

Even Eli Roth, who I normally find loathsome when in front of the camera [instead of behind] managed to be in his most agreeable role. Roth as "The Bear Jew" was a much better fit than his appearance in Death Proof. I feel like I have to also acknowledge August Diehl for being simultaneously splendidly despicable as a Nazi and devastatingly handsome.

If Quentin Tarantino continues to rewrite tragic history and make it into a fun, vengeance-filled 2 hours, you won't find me complaining one little bit.

For the record, Col. Hans Landa takes his espresso with two teaspoons of sugar.

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