Quentin Tarantino is an exemplary film maker. Not only are his movies infinitely enjoyable, they don't allow for a passive audience. He takes risks with content as well as context and the opening scene of 2009's Inglourious Basterds was a 15 minute conversation, all talk, no action, which requires a fair amount of audience concentration, and is a rare and delightful thing to get right. Tarantino got it right.
Devising difficult chronologies and asking your audience to work things out themselves is also a risk that he has taken repeatedly, and with great success, as in Resevoir Dogs. This time around his potentially controversial offering is Django Unchained, a movie about the 'employment' of a slave in the Deep South as a hitman, on the promise of his ultimate release from slavery.
Starring Jamie Foxx as Django, Leonardo Dicaprio as the 'good German' who offers the promise of eventual freedom, as well as Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson. Its team is pretty good, to say the least. The premier was held this evening and preliminary reviews are in, with glowing reports. The Guardian's reviewer Peter Bradshaw gave it a full five out of five stars. He said "I can't wait to see it again." Adding that "Django delivers, wholesale, that particular narcotic and delirious pleasure that Tarantino still knows how to confect in the cinema... It's as unwholesome, deplorable and delicious as a forbidden cigarette."
Variety were also really impressed, saying that Tarantino has offered "an immensely satisfying taste of antebellum empowerment packaged as spaghetti-Western homage." The Hollywood Reporter also praises it: "the film makes a point of pushing the savagery of slavery to the forefront but does so in a way that rather amazingly dovetails with the heightened historical, stylistic and comic sensibilities at play."
It's safe to say, we can't wait to see it. The official US release date is Christmas Day, and January 18th 2013 for the UK.