‘Inglourious Basterds’: A Most Unlikely Oscar Juggernaut

On its surface, an exploitation film about Nazi hunters doesn’t exactly have “Oscar potential” written all over it. Factor in violent scenes of people having their heads bashed in with baseball bats, gruesome laughs that arrive with the mutilation of characters, and the fact that the movie was inspired by this, and it seems like a downright miracle that “Inglourious Basterds” would be deemed award-worthy.

But award-worthy it is, as evidenced by Tuesday morning’s (February 2) announcement that “Basterds” has hunted down eight Oscar nominations, second only to “Avatar” and “The Hurt Locker.” Once again, the incomparable Quentin Tarantino has displayed his knack for dusting off genres and plot conventions dismissed by pop-culture as unworthy and reminded us of the beauty he sees in those worlds.

This thing was a gift. It landed in my lap; six weeks later, we were shooting,” Brad Pitt recalled of Tarantino’s stunning script. “You don’t want to change a thing. I compare it to working with a Coen brothers script, because the dialogue is so spot-on. And there’s a music to it, that if you take one step off the trailer, you just muck up the whole thing. And so you stay on course. It was really so defined and laid-out.

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Thanks to Gabriella.