January 13, 2013

Why Tarantino Deserves an Oscar

So the Oscar nominations were announced the other day and normally I don’t really care. This year however, the one man who deserves the Oscar the most isn’t even nominated for Best Director: Quentin Tarantino. Now, I know he already won Best Original Screenplay for Pulp Fiction many years ago but he has never won the Best Director Oscar and that bothers me.

I know there are people out there who aren’t big fans of his movies, but to me he remains one of the best filmmakers working today. Why? Because he isn’t afraid to take risks and explore subjects other filmmakers wouldn’t touch with a cattle prod.

I saw Django Unchained a few weeks ago and once again Tarantino created another masterpiece with great characters, sparkling dialogue and fantastic performances.

The genius of Tarantino is that he can take what could be seen as art house pictures and make them commercial. He makes adult oriented movies which are usually filled with violence and memorable characters.

Django Unchained had so many different and fleshed out characters all with their own stories and motivations. Leonard DiCaprio arguably gave the performance of his career and I once again can’t believe he didn’t receive a nomination either.

Calvin Candie is a figure of pure malevolence and every moment he is on screen, he makes your skin crawl. This is only exacerbated by Samuel L. Jackson’s character Stephen who is also a figure of pure evil. He manipulates Candie from behind the scenes and he is arguably the greatest villain of the piece.

Cristolph Waltz and Jamie Foxx are both extremely sympathetic and great protagonists. My favourite scene between them is Dr. King Schultz (Waltz) talking about Siegfried and Brunhilda and what he would go through to save her. It is just a great piece of storytelling and really cements the bond between Django and Schultz. He sees a comparison between Django and Siegfried and that is essentially the moment when he decides to help him rescue his wife Broomhilda.

There is another amazing scene involving the KKK who are portrayed as idiots and it is absolutely hilarious. It shows how ridiculous their thinking was by making them look like a complete joke.

In a recent interview with Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Tarantino “lost his temper” with the interviewer who kept pushing for a response about his stance on movie violence. Tarantino stated that he has already mentioned his stance for the past 20 years so there is no reason to bring it up and yet the interviewer kept hassling him and frankly if it were me I’d have punched him for being so annoying.

Guru-Murthy was saying that all the rape would be shocking and Tarantino said: “Uhh there’s no rape, at all” which proves that the interviewer hadn’t even seen the movie yet and was just trying to rile the director.

I’ve never found the violence in his movies offensive because I’m smart enough to know the difference between reality and fiction. His violence is mostly over the top and cartoonish in the style of the old-school kung-fu movies. Stupid or crazy people may try to mimic violence, be it in movies, TV, video games, books or whatever. Crazy people will do crazy shit no matter what. Anyway, this article isn’t about that; kinda went off on a tangent there.

Tarantino explores the “Holocaust” of the American Slave trade and how it was such a dark time for the Nation. Is the movie violent? Sure. “Oh, but it shouldn’t be so violent”… because slavery wasn’t barbaric at all, was it? Tarantino doesn’t skimp on showing the effects of violence in his movies, it hurts and it bloody well looks like it too.

With every one one of his movies, Tarantino has an obvious style which you can recognise within the first few seconds. He always uses fantastic music and tends to reference legends like Sergio Leone  to create the atmosphere. This is most apparent in Django Unchained as it really has the feel of the Spaghetti Westerns of old.

He also doesn’t rush his scenes and he never uses that god-awful shaky cam; characters and scenes have time to breathe. His movies are very much of the old-school kind of film-making where the focus is on story and characters. Look at the opening scene of Inglourious Basterds; it is almost unbearably tense, and yet it is two people sitting at a table.

Tarantino movies encourage modern audiences to appreciate older movies like The Man With No Name Trilogy and many more and this can only be a good thing. It creates a greater love for the craft of film-making and will also hopefully inspire the next next generation of great directors.

I’ve seen Zero Dark Thirty and although technically proficient, I didn’t care about any of the characters and none of the dialogue stood out. There is no way in my opinion that it deserves an Oscar more than Django.

It makes no sense to me why Tarantino wasn’t even nominated for Best Director; he is at least nominated for Best Original Screenplay though and it truly deserves to win.

Quentin Tarantino isn’t afraid to explore taboo subjects and that makes him a ballsy and interesting director. I will always pay to watch his movies because I know I will be entertained by great dialogue, well developed characters and a strong story. He is an innovator and directors of his calibre should be recognised for the talent they have. It’s a good thing this blog isn’t completely pointless and will change nothing, but what the hell, you get the point.

About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel
I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it's a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.



New Trailer for Den of Thieves

Plot: A Los Angeles crime saga in the vein of “Heat”, DEN OF THIEVES follows the intersecting and often personally connected lives of an elite unit of the LA County Sheriff’s Dept. and the state’s most successful bank r...
by Eoin Friel


New Trailer for 12 Strong

Plot: 12 Strong tells the story of the first Special Forces team deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11; under the leadership of a new captain, the team must work with an Afghani warlord to take down the Taliban.
by Eoin Friel


Katrina Grey Interview

Actress Katrina Grey came to my attention a few years back. With the release of Hard Target 2, and Locked up, I wanted to get her thoughts on the various projects she has worked on. Katrina has been honing her action skills and...
by Dan Templegod