I do believe it goes without saying that Quentin Tarantino is without question one of, if not, the finest film maker of the past 20 plus years. His latest effort, Django Unchained does many things but chief among these being, it solidifies Tarantino’s place as a great, GREAT film maker. His unique style of fantastic specifically worded dialogue and impeccably perfect scenes is undoubtedly his trademark along with unusual yet perfectly used soundtracks.
Django Unchained has every single element of a perfect Tarantino movie with the added pleasure of being done almost better than he has ever done before. Pulp Fiction is without question his calling card film and it has since become a piece of Hollywood lore and for good reason. That being said Django Unchained may go down at some point as Tarantino’s greatest film.
This is the story of Django a slave in the south 2 years before the eruption of the Civil War. Django is soon acquired and given his freedom by bounty hunter Dr. King Shultz played to perfection by the always entertaining Christoph Waltz who is quickly becoming Tarantino’s muse much like a Scorsese/ De Niro type relationship, which I would say was one not many people got sick of. When King Shultz asks for Django’s help hunting down his 3 former slave owners he quickly discovers Django’s knack for the bounty hunting game. After agreeing to help King Shultz hunt criminals through the winter and teach him what he knows Django soon finds the help of Shultz to help him find his wife and bring her into freedom with him. After they discover her new owner is the prominently rich plantation own Calvin Candie they form an elaborate scheme to acquire Django’s wife, Broomhilda.
With absolutely expert story telling, Tarantino manages to get Oscar caliber performances from every major principal in the film, from star Jamie Foxx to a short lived character of Big Daddy played by Don Johnson.
Django is Tarantino literally at the peak of his craft. With several elements from other films from rarely seen westerns to his own films such as Reservoir Dogs. Django is a very much stripped down effort from him but it never feels like it is lacking in any aspect of the film. With not one camera angle out of place or one song that doesn’t feel perfectly used.
Tarantino has a cast assembled that has the chemistry and feel already that you can imagine no one else playing every single role. He has masterfully directed every aspect and while Inglorious Basterds was the film that was thought to be his opus prior to release, it is clear Django Unchained simply will blow and cinephile away and casual fan of westerns and/or action will be enthralled. It should be noted the violence can be extreme and even leave a jaw open once or twice much like he did with his Kill Bill films, but this will in no way be it’s defining mark at all.
With several recent Golden Globe nominations by the hollywood Foreign Press, who has always shown him great love, there is no doubt Django Unchained is a serious contender in every category and will be so once the Oscar nods come out in a few weeks.
This may be his year. He has a best screenplay Oscar on his mantle already but it may have some company and more than one as well.