Movie of the Week – Jackie Brown
Jackie Brown | Quentin Tarantino | 1997
I truly believe that in the evolution of Quentin Tarantino as a filmmaker Jackie Brown might be the most important piece. Of course, Tarantino had made a touchstone picture in Pulp Fiction and he’s gone on to make flashier and more complex film since, but Jackie Brown feels like a film without hubris.
Consciously, the film focuses on the story. I don’t mean to suggest that Pulp Fiction didn’t have a story or that its narrative isn’t advanced; I mean that Jackie Brown isn’t adorned with the flourishes that usually accompany Tarantino’s work, and for that, I believe is shows what a complete filmmaker he is. Simple is hard when you think big, or maybe big is grander on the seemingly simple scale.
That’s not to suggest that the film is simple. With multiple major story lines (characters) to follow, this is the closest Tarantino has come to an Altman film. In fact, it’s not that different from an Altman film, especially Tarantino’s ability to bring an organic and satisfying conclusion to all the stories.
It is a pleasure to watch this film. Between Tarantino’s direction, Sally Menke’s editing, Elmore Leonard’s source material and the actors – Jackie Brown is a masterwork.