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Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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    Don’t Count Out ‘Basterds’

    By Kyle | December 17, 2009

    The most mystifying thing to me about the New York Film Critics Circle vote the other day (apart from all the love for the French snoozer “Summer Hours”) was the lack of love for “Inglourious Basterds,” which seemed to wind up about fourth (or worse) in most categories except Best Supporting Actor, which it should have won by acclamation. But every day this movie is picking up more steam. SAG love arrives today, on the heels of the “surprising” (to who?) pack of Golden Globes nominations. The IndieWire survey of critics has it neck and neck with “The Hurt Locker” for the title of the no. 1 film of the year. I’ve got news for “Hurt Locker” fans: It ain’t gonna win Best Picture. “Up in the Air” has to be rated the heavy favorite, but don’t count out Q.T. and his Basterds.

    Topics: Movies, Oscars | 4 Comments »

    4 Responses to “Don’t Count Out ‘Basterds’”

    1. Christian Toto Says:
      December 17th, 2009 at 2:01 pm

      So mystified that you love IB … just watched it again and all its flaws just popped off the screen.

      The first scene … great. Waltz. Great. The last half hour … feh. And could the bar scene be any longer?

    2. Robert P. Says:
      December 17th, 2009 at 2:24 pm

      I’m mystified that not only do you find the bar scene “too long”, but that so many actually agree with you.

      I remember something Roger Ebert said about “Jackie Brown”, and I paraphrase:

      “Those who say the film is too long suffer from Cinematic Attention Deficit Disorder. I wanted to see these wonderful characters talk, scheme and interactions for hours upon hours.”

    3. JimmyC Says:
      December 17th, 2009 at 4:32 pm

      I loved Inglorious Basterds, and since seeing it I have yet to see any other film even come close to it in terms of pure impact. I don’t know if it’s got a shot at Best Picture, but it’ll probably end up being my favorite movie of the year.

      Regarding the bar scene, yes it goes on for a long time, but it still works brilliantly because Tarantino manages to keep the tension ratched up the whole time. It was a gamble for him to stretch things out for that long, but I thought it paid off wonderfully.

    4. Patrick Says:
      December 17th, 2009 at 11:19 pm

      I’m in the tiny minority, but I didn’t like it, so someone else finding it lacking isn’t mystifying at all, although a little unexpected. I found it mostly cartoonish – the idea of a group of Americans running around for months undetected in occupied France and killing Germans is so absurd that I can’t take anything else that happened in the movie seriously. Maybe that was part of the idea, anyway, a movie whose underlying idea is nothing more than a joke is hard to view as anything more than a trifle.