Character actor Michael Shannon has been nominated for his second Oscar for his role in the 2016 thriller Nocturnal Animals. "No Small Parts" takes a look at some of the other characters he's played in the past.
In German-occupied France, young Jewish refugee Shosanna Dreyfus witnesses the slaughter of her family by Colonel Hans Landa. Narrowly escaping with her life, she plots her revenge several years later when German war hero Fredrick Zoller takes a rapid interest in her and arranges an illustrious movie premiere at the theater she now runs. With the promise of every major Nazi officer in attendance, the event catches the attention of the "Basterds", a group of Jewish-American guerrilla soldiers led by the ruthless Lt. Aldo Raine. As the relentless executioners advance and the conspiring young girl's plans are set in motion, their paths will cross for a fateful evening that will shake the very annals of history. Written by
The Massie Twins
Sönke Möhring: Besides playing Private Butz, Möhring also appeared as Gestapo officer Walter Frazer, with the French girlfriend at the bistro, with Fredrick and Shosanna. See more »
During close-ups of Lt. Aldo Raine as he's addressing the eight Jewish-American soldiers, an ear piercing hole is clearly seen in his left earlobe. Men, especially soldiers, did not pierce their ears in the 1940s. See more »
Col. Hans Landa:
[in French; subtitled]
Monsieur LaPadite, I regret to inform you I have exhausted the extent of my French. To continue to speak it so inadequately would only serve to embarrass me. However, I've been lead to believe that you speak English quite well.
Col. Hans Landa:
Well, it just so happens I do as well. This being your house, I ask your permission to switch back to English for the remainder of the conversation.
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The film uses the 1963-1990 Universal Pictures logo. See more »
..."Inglorious" as our local theater decided to display its title on their marquee, minus the second word. It is terrific cinema.
I don't hesitate to recommend this film to all but the over-squeamish. Let them never know what they're missing.
I did hesitate to give it ten stars because of my experience of Tarantino's previous films. In every case, save "Reservoir Dogs," they have improved with additional watching.
So although I gave it ten stars, I did so reluctantly. It leaves me no "up" to go to.
Yes Christoph Waltz is the Nazi we've all imagined the worst to be. He is cultured, sophisticated, suave and most sadistic, the kind of man who can make a glass of milk a threat and who puts out his cigarette abruptly in a strudel, grinding it into the whipped cream as if he were grinding his heel into a victim.
To understand Tarantino's films, you need only have a sense of dialogue, color and pacing. The colors are as bright as necessary and when necessary, brighter yet. In the French farmhouse of the opening scene, they are muted and dark, but excessively so. Outside a brilliant sun is shining, but in the one room of the house, everything is bathed in shadows and black.
It is a brilliant setting for an interrogation by Waltz, as the "Jew Hunter" of the SS, who dangles his host French farmer over the precipice of revealing what he cannot reveal numerous times, then pulls him back with obsequious lines of friendship and understanding.
A second sadistic German, well-played by August Diehl, later functions as important actor in the final plot twist. Diehl's Nazi Major, who has an ear for German accents, is almost as good as Waltz....almost.
Film classes will study much from this movie. They should look lovingly at the superb pacing. Tarantino knows just how long to draw out a scene, building suspense in the manner of Hitchcock, then at just the breaking point, suddenly coming to a resolution.
For color, look for a final shot at a French Theater, where its secretly Jewish proprietor is staging a surprise for the upper reaches of Nazi leadership.
We see her, played by Melanie Laurent, awaiting the hated German dignataries who will arrive for a film preview of the latest Deutsch film masterpiece, a propaganda piece about a German hero and his dubious accomplishments.
Laurent is framed on a balcony, reflected in the glass mirrors of the gorgeous theater, her red lips and low cut dress reflecting everywhere the intensity of her designs on her guests. It is a single shot that would be worth an entire film.
There are thankfully many more such images, many more paced scenes of exquisite dialog and suspense.
In short, see it. I'm sure you'll see it again and again.
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