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Christoph Waltz: The glorious villain in 'Inglourious Basterds'

August 21, 2009 | 11:40 am

As a sadistic Nazi officer in Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds," Christoph Waltz is the most deliciously evil villain seen by movie-goers since Javier Bardem in "No Country for Old Men" and Anthony Hopkins in "Silence of the Lambs." Wait! Is it a coincidence that both of those roles were Oscar winners — in flicks that won best picture?

Christoph Waltz won best actor at the Cannes Film Festival in May for "Inglourious Basterds" and now "is probably also destined for an Academy Award nomination," according to Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times. But in which category? Waltz has more screen time than Hopkins, who won in lead, and a comparable amount to Bardem, who won in supporting. My guess is supporting, but I thought I'd torment the celebrated screen Nazi for his opinion.

Granted, Brad Pitt is dastardly in "Inglourious Basterds" too — ordering the beating (with a baseball bat) and scalping of German soldiers — but, hey, he's on our side.

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