Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 1994. Miramax, A Band Apart, Jersey Films. Story by Quentin Tarantino, Roger Avary, Screenplay by Quentin Tarantino. Cinematography by Andrzej Sekula. Produced by Lawrence Bender. Production Design by David Wasco. Costume Design by Betsy Heimann. Film Editing by Sally Menke.
Independent film became a truly commercial entity when Quentin Tarantino’s brilliant drama hit the big screens and took audiences by storm. It’s an epic piece about low-level gangsters, a tribute to the penny-paperback stories that fill seedy imaginations in the back of used-book stores (yes, it’s really that potent). The film is a trilogy of three stories that connect in mysterious ways by the time they’re over, mainly dealing with two thugs (John Travolta reviving his career, Samuel L. Jackson jump starting his) and their various assignments around Los Angeles working for their tough-as-nails boss (Ving Rhames). The first story, where Travolta takes Rhames’ wife (Uma Thurman in a bubbly performance) out dining and dancing, is the most enjoyable and delightful. The violence is not for the faint at heart, but anyone who enjoys excellent characters, exceptionally tense drama and brilliant dialogue will not want to miss this movie.
Academy Award: Best Original Screenplay
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Actor (John Travolta); Best Supporting Actor (Samuel L. Jackson); Best Supporting Actress (Uma Thurman); Best Director (Quentin Tarantino); Best Film Editing
Cannes Film Festival Award: Palme D’Or
Golden Globe Award: Best Screenplay
Nominations: Best Picture-Drama; Best Actor-Drama (John Travolta); Best Supporting Actor (Samuel L. Jackson); Best Supporting Actress (Uma Thurman); Best Director (Quentin Tarantino)
Screen Actors Guild Award Nominations: Best Actor (John Travolta); Best Supporting Actor (Samuel L. Jackson); Best Supporting Actress (Uma Thurman)