Stanley Scorsese’s review published on Letterboxd:
Today, I continue my Quentin Tarantino film reviews for the release of his upcoming film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. After leaving out my thoughts, and love for Inglorious Basterds yesterday, I’m going to talk about another one of his greatest films. One that proves to still be wild, crazy, outrageous, brutal, hilarious, and also really epic! I’m talking about Django Unchained!
Django Unchained follows a former slave named Django Freeman and a German bounty hunter named Dr. King Schultz as they go on a extended journey together to find more wanted people, and Django’s wife who is now owned by a plantation owner named Calvin Candie in Chickasaw County, Mississippi.
This film is definitely like Inglorious Basterds because of its alternative history. But it’s a western film taking on a topic that no film has ever been so violent and outrageous done before. Slavery! Tarantino has been inspired by spaghetti westerns and blaxploitation films he watched as a child, and thought “I’ll make one that’ll be crazy, bloody, and a balls-to-the-wall violent western!” I remember it being released on Christmas Day, 2012, and I was interested into seeing it since it was from the creator of Inglorious Basterds. But I got stuck into seeing Zero Dark Thirty with my uncle for his birthday. I also remember it was released on DVD, when I was almost close to graduating high school. I rented it from Redbox and I was like, “Let’s give it a go Quentin! Show me what you got!” And it was a full on riot! I mean it in every word I’ve described on it! I loved the gunfight scene inside of Candie’s, and the KKK scene had me laughing the most out of all the comedic one liners! After staying up twice on a school night while watching it one more time, I bought Django Unchained and Pulp Fiction on Blu-Ray. And ever since I was a teenager and after seeing all of his films, I began to love, appreciate, and became a fan of Quentin Tarantino! He is and always will be my number 1 favorite filmmaker!
The acting from the main cast were so great! I mean so superb and outstanding for bringing these characters to life! Jamie Foxx did great for playing this vengeful former slave turned bounty hunter Django. Christoph Waltz did a spectacular job of bringing the articulate but also violent Dr. Schultz. Leonardo DiCaprio did an amazing job of playing this evil, brutal, and aristocratic plantation owner Calvin Candie. And Samuel L. Jackson was hilarious and sinisterly good for playing Stephen, Candie’s house slave! Also I want to give a round of applause for Mr. Quentin Tarantino for making this movie happen! He never ceased to amaze me for making his own films with his own vision of storytelling! Also the cinematography from Robert Richardson was rich, bright, colorful, and so beautiful!
Django Unchained went to be nominated for 6 Oscars including Best Picture! Tarantino won second Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for being humorous, creative, and sharply and cleverly written! And Christoph Waltz earned his second Oscar for Best Supporting Actor after working with Tarantino and winning his first for his role in Inglorious Basterds! Just like Hans Landa, he brought Schultz to life being responsible for Django and teaching him the ways of bounty hunting. I wish this film won Best Cinematography, and the big award, Best Picture. Nothing against Argo, but I thought of it winning was overrated, when I know Django Unchained is a true piece of art and should’ve won the big award! I can imagine the controversy Tarantino had gotten for using the N word over 100 times, but I enjoyed it and I will continue to enjoy it and hopefully I will show it to my future kids when they grow up!
I give Django Unchained 5 stars!