Could “Inglourious Basterds” win the Best Picture Oscar?

The word on the street is that Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” could upset Oscar frontrunners “Avatar” and “The Hurt Locker” for Best Picture. 

According to The Wrap, “Tarantino has been making constant public and private appearances” doing press, parties and promotional events in order to boost the film. And it comes as no surprise that the mad scientist behind the plot is Harvey Weinstein, who is famous for the 11th hour campaign blitz. It certainly worked for “Shakespeare in Love.”

Last week, I asked Tarantino how badly he wanted the Oscar. “I think I deserve it for screenplay,” he said. “By sheer definition of the category I deserve it.” Maybe so, but that doesn’t mean he’ll get it. The Wrap’s Steve Pond writes, “I’m not buying it. [Basterds is] too sprawling, too audacious, too violent and too brazenly, defiantly revisionist to be an everybody’s-top-five kind of movie.”

I plan to argue a counterpoint in our March 5th Oscar issue that investigates the impact ‘Basterds’ has had on the Jewish psyche. The story features interviews with Quentin Tarantino, actor Eli Roth, Holocaust scholar Michael Berenbaum, Rabbis David Wolpe and Marvin Hier and film expert and author Lester Friedman. Stay tuned.