Another Oscar Best Picture nominee. And Christoph Waltz won for his supporting-actor performance. And Quentin Tarantino won for his screenplay. And (as I type), the IMDB raters have placed Django Unchained at position #44 on the Top 250 Movies Of All Time.
In addition, I liked it quite a bit. Mr. Tarantino, who (you may have heard) also directed, is a movie lover, and this is his own unique take on the Western genre. (Although most of it is set in Tennessee and Mississippi.)
It takes place in 1858, and slavery's still going strong. Django, played by Jamie Foxx, is a slave, freed in the opening scene by Dr. King Schultz, Waltz's Oscar-winning role. Schultz is a bounty hunter, and he enlists Django as his sidekick. Dishing out murderous violence to white criminals, it turns out, is something Django has an unusual talent for.
But Django's wife ("Broomhilda") is still in captivity, and Schultz agrees to help track her down and (hopefully) free her by fair means or … well, let's be honest here, the goal is to engage in a lot of violence and hope that the right people are left alive at the end.
Waltz's Oscar is richly deserved; he's a lot of fun to watch. Unlike Inglorious Basterds, he's pretty much a hero here.
It's also a lot of fun playing spot-the-actor. As in his other movies, Tarantino pulls in a lot of semi-forgotten TV and movie stars of yesteryear: Michael Parks, Lee Horsely, Franco Nero (the original Django), Dennis Christopher, Don Johnson, etc.
Sheer coincidence: the soundtrack contains a snippet of Richie Havens' classic song "Freedom", and I watched the movie the same day I heard of Havens' passing.