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Pssst! Here's 'Inglourious Basterds'' secret Oscar campaign strategy

August 24, 2009 | 11:00 am

Surely, the question has occurred to you: Why isn't Oscar-mad Harvey Weinstein releasing "Inglourious Basterds" in Oscar-friendly November or December? Doesn't he have faith that "Inglourious Basterds" can run the derby? Hey, Quentin Tarantino proved himself in 1994 when "Pulp Fiction" was nominated for best picture and Tarantino won best screenplay.

Inglourious basterds news brad pitt quentin tarantino

Last year, Harvey held back "The Reader" to the last possible stretch, giving it a limited opening in Los Angeles and New York in December, then wide release in January. The strategy paid off with five Academy Award nominations -- including a surprise bid (to some, not us) for best picture -- resulting in the Big Win at Long Last for Kate Winslet as best actress.

Answer: Harvey plans to reserve that last-minute, ambush strategy he employed for "The Reader" for his other major Oscar pony, "Nine," Rob Marshall's adaptation of the Tony-winning musical starring Penelope Cruz, Daniel Day-Lewis and Marion Cotillard. For "Inglourious Basterds," he plans to use the "Crash" campaign model.

By releasing "Inglourious Basterds" in theaters now, Harvey can give the flick a second wave of ballyhoo when the DVD comes out late this year. Because the DVD will be a mass release, it won't need to be watermarked with numerals identifying each disc with the name of an academy member or other award voter. That's one of the sneaky ways "Crash" beat front-runner "Brokeback Mountain" for best picture of 2005 -- Lionsgate blitzed Hollywood with more than 120,000 cheap DVDs.

To manufacture and ship a watermarked DVD costs about $20. The cost for a non-watermarked equivalent: $5.

Beware, Hollywood. Given how red rivers flow in Tarantino pix, the town will be engulfed in a blood tide this December when Harvey unleashes his "Inglourious Basterds" DVD campaign. It will probably pay off with two Academy Award nominations: best screenplay (Tarantino) and supporting actor (Christoph Waltz). Maybe more. "Pulp Fiction" got nommed for best picture when there were only five slots; this year there will be twice as many.


Christoph Waltz: The glorious villain in 'Inglourious Basterds'

Photo: Weinstein Co.

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easily the worst movie i saw all year. I actually left half way through. Lost ticket a small price to pay for saved brain cells, fuck.

i really enjoyed the film.
the opening scene is complete genius and tarantino himself has acknowledged it as his masterpiece and i think most who are educated in film will appreciate this.
the characters are all unique and each actor does a flawless job in portraying tarantinos genius.
outstanding performances from laurent and waltz and i also rather enjoyed krugers performance is the film although it was more subtle than the rest.
the imagery was breathtaking and i absolutely adored the scene of laurents face projected on the flaming screen and then the smoke.
the bravery and excellent use of the various languages and subtitles added to the quirkiness of the film and provided a fresh change to the norm of talking in english with an accent.
i thought the overall storyline was perfect, trust tarantino to rewrite history, his ability to link various stories together is evidentally one step above the rest.
pitts performance was one i'm not quite sure of.he seems to be getting by just playing an idiot and his true ability shines through in a few areas but for the rest he provides comedic relief more than anything else.

i'm hoping for a few nominations.
best supporting actor and actress.
best original screenplay.
soundtrack hopefully.
and finally directing.

Inglourious Basterds failed miserably as a film for several reasons which will follow. Quentin Tarantino is the master of character development. His characters always have depth and substance, and even in Basterds, this isn’t the problem. I’ll qualify my review by saying that I’m a huge QT fan, and will watch anything he produces, even after suffering through this abortion. The first chapter is flawless. It’s sparse in its comedic moments, but the few that are there add to the nervous tension that’s being built between the Jew hunter, and the dairy farmer. The acting, scenery, and dialog draw you in, and give you a false sense of what is to come with the following chapters. Throughout the movie, there is long, boring, monotonous, dialog which attempts to glue together a small handful of genius scenes. Watching this film was like asking a child to come up with a story, where it wandered from one thing to another with little rhyme or reason. There seemed to be a huge problem with the continuity of the story, although it was linear. The tone and mood of the story would change from one scene to another, sometimes within one scene, and not through character development or movement. It couldn’t decide if it was a drama, a comedy, or outright slapstick. A movie has to provide “suspension of disbelief” in order to pull me in and keep me there. In order to justify the use of unbelievable or non-realistic elements in a fictional movie based on actual events, a writer needs to incorporate human interest, and a semblance of truth to suspend implausibility of a story. Combining slapstick spaghetti western comedy with historical drama in the sloppy way that QT did constantly kept pulling me out of the movie because of my disbelief. Brad Pitts acting was horrendous both in method and character. He lent an air of stupidity to his performance that made it impossible to believe that his character Second Lieutenant Aldo Raine had the intelligence to pull even the simplest of plans off.
Daniel Bruhl plays Frederick Zoller, a sniper turned actor. Although his acting was passable, there is one scene that seemed to go on forever in no direction. Zoller chats with Shosanna who is standing on a ladder changing the letters of the marquis. This scene tries to lift the movie into an intellectual air by having the characters discuss obscure German films by an obscure German director among other long boring things. This scene is so out of context with the previous scene that it was as if we were taken from the trailer park to Trump Towers, back to the trailer park. When I say continuity, this is what I’m referring to. Reservoir Dogs worked well, as did Pulp Fiction, because his comedic moments weren’t over the top in a goofy or slapstick way, nor did they seem out of character when they were used. Exceptions should be made for Christoph Waltz as Colonel Hans Landa “The Jew Hunter”, Melanie Laurent as Shosanna, and Denis Menochet as French dairy farmer Perrier LaPadite. All three actors turned in top notch performances with believability in the face of adversity.
QT has evidently been given way too much money for budget, and because he’s become a “Rock Star” type of director, he’s over indulged by the studio control, which should stop kissing his ass, and start reigning him in when he’s made such a mess. I think that hiding inside this movie is a GREAT movie that would have been a classic, if it had been cut down to maybe two hours maximum and edited heavily. Also, because of all the historical falsehoods, and holes in the plot that were not even sloppily wallpapered over, I think a re-write of the script would have been in order. In my opinion, that’s why this film was worse than the 1983 David Cronenberg film “Videodrome” which was formerly my bottom pick.

The usual Tarantino blab and blast fest. If this disjointed, poorly conceived comedy gets an Oscar, then obviously those awards mean nothing.

This movie was perhaps Tarantino's best. Although I disliked a couple of his typical flourishes, as well as one particular David Bowie song used in the film, the characters were superb, with each actor exhibiting great skill in executing their role, although it looked as if Brad Pitt just had an easy a time, like he was filming with his Oceans Eleven friends.

I would recommend this movie, and although I hate the academy, I want this film to win something.

I loved the film. It was funny and violent and attention grabbing....all of the things that Oscar nominees usually aren't. However, this year, I think there are new rules allowing tons of pictures to be nominated, so it might have a chance.

It would've been an Oscar contender, but Tarantino's take changes history. Spoiler alert: Hitler and Goebbel die in the movie theater blowup. But historically, they of course took their own lives separately, which invalidates the truth of the events of the movie, therefore removing any Oscar contention for a serious dramatic period piece. Sorry!

That is great strategy!

This movie stays with you too. I've been thinking about it for 3 days now. When it is released on DVD and watch it again and see if it has the same effect. I'm sure it will win something.

As long as they don't try to force Brad Pitt down our throats. He was the weakest link in the movie. I usually like his "weird" roles because he's better at that than his "serious" roles, but throughout Basterds I couldn't help but think someone else could do better as Aldo. Oh well.

Oscar strategy? Considering that Jews make up more than half the academy it's obvious that this is a blatant to attempt to curry favor with academy voters for best picture. You don't need an oscar strategy when you do that.

Christopher Waltz was really good but didn't care
for the movie. I'm not
sure how they decided who is going to win a oscar before a movie comes out but they get
it wrong most of the time.
They might have meant something at one time but I don't think they do now.

WORST movie I have ever seen! Long, gross, unfunny, uninteresting, and in the end, predictable. Tarantino's ego has clearly run amok and his fans should stop praising this p.o.s. just because he made it.

Nine's gonna get nominated anyway. Unless it turns out to be the worst movie ever. But thanks for the explanation because I was wondering if the early release wasn't a mistake.

I would say Waltz is a complete lock at this point for a nomination. As for picture, even though it is a WWII film, it isn't your traditional one, so I don't know what kind of favoritism it will receive from the Academy. Personally, I loved the film, and am not too optimistic on a Best Pic nomination, but I think that for Tarantino to get snubbed in the screenplay category would be an absolute crime.

Inglourious Basterds is a masterpiece! Depicting the Nazis accordingly for their viciousness against the Jews and what most of us would have liked to have occurred against Hitler and his henchmen is in its proper perspective.

The cinematography and color was awesome. Brad Pitt played a character and a half … the film took turns no one would ever think of and David Bowie’s song was so great … as well as the rest of the soundtrack. The characters were terrific and the acting was excellent. Tarantino’s work is an absolute masterpiece. He indeed did invent a new shade of red! Really a stunning movie.

Guess it helps that my father fought at Normandy on D-Day through the Battle of the Scheldt in Holland and Belgium to Berlin. I have directed my own film about WWII. GETTYMOVIE is the Getty/Hitler trilogy.

It is unique directors like Tarantino that inspire one to push the envelope.

All the actors in this film were great. Only we haven't heard of them because of the tyrannical marketing/agency system that promotes "their" stars. I'm sick of the nepotism that creates Hollywood stars. It was refreshing to see real, not manufactured, talent.

Christopher Waltz was excellent. Best acting I have seen in many years. He is a sure winner.

The fact that a film has to be released in November or (preferably) December to have much of a good chance to win an Oscar basically shows how brain-dead Hollywood is: they simply don't have any long-term memory. If a film came out more than two months ago, they've forgotten it already.

Oscar for what???? SiFi Movie?

Inglourious Basterds was the worst movie that I didn't walk out on.
I am angry with myself for staying. I should have left during the first third of the movie. But I kept thinking it would get better. I believe that It went from bad to terrible.

The Oscars have been a joke for years. Who cares what Hollywood idiots vote for? Some moron voter needs to be deluged with DVDs because they couldn't bother seeing the 'best' movies in the theater? Then they shouldn't be voting.



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