Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) is well known for becoming the first African American Supreme Court Justice in 1967, following his instrumental involvement in the Brown v. Board of Education case, desegragating schools in America once and for all in 1954. Before then though, he was an attorney - an unusual profession for a black man at the time, especially one whose great grandfather was a slave.
In one of his first cases, he was asked to defend a fellow black man named Joseph Spell, who had been arrested for the alleged assault against a white female socialite named Janet Moore. It was Thurgood's job to prove the man's innocence, and that he was being wrongly targeted for his race. A fair trial was rare for an African American in the 1930s, so the pressure was truly on; it becomes especially difficult when Spell is forced to lie to protect his own life.
Of course, it's not all plain sailing for Thurgood. He may be educated, but the streets are still a dangerous place for him - as his new partner, a white man named Sam Friedman (Josh Gad), learns first hand as he is beaten for associating with him.
Continue: Marshall Trailer
Tarantino takes an unusually comical approach to a provocative topic, and the result is as controversial as expected. And also startlingly hilarious. At its core, this is another revenge-themed thriller, but Tarantino's snappy, constantly surprising aproach spirals out to explore racial issues over the past 150 years with humour, drama and, of course, grisly violence.
Set two years before the American Civil War in 1858 Texas, the story centres on bounty hunter Schultz (Waltz), who offers the slave Django (Foxx) what seems like a fantasy job: to work with him to capture white criminals dead or alive. Usually dead. Sure enough, everyone is shocked to see a black man not only riding a horse but carrying a gun. When Django helps find three notorious outlaw brothers, he earns his freedom, and Schultz then offers to help free Django's enslaved wife (Washington). This involves staging an elaborate sting on her owner, the bloodthirsty Mississippi plantation owner Calvin (DiCaprio), who runs a ring of slaves who fight each other to the death. But Calvin's butler Stephen (Jackson) suspects that something is up.
Waltz and Foxx have terrific chemistry in the central roles, with Waltz's lively intelligence bouncing off Foxx's physical and emotional intensity. This gives the film an underlying drive that keeps us engaged through the blood-soaked violence as well as the more slapstick-style sequences (a KKK raid led by Johnson and Hill feels like a lost sequence from Blazing Saddles). But Tarantino's screenplay is beautifully constructed to even out the tone with exciting action, harrowing nastiness and some darkly involving drama. All while quietly exploring the twisted history of racial relations in America.
Continue reading: Django Unchained Review
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