07 April 2013

Muses and Maestros: Thurman and Tarantino


Part of a continuing series about the most talented pairings of filmmakers today. On deck, Uma Thurman and Quentin Tarantino.

The players: Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman
The works: Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2

Uma Thurman has only appeared in three pictures with Quentin Tarantino, but when the two have worked together they craft quite unique characters. Mia Wallace, at first glance, seems like a trophy wife hanging on the arm of top gangster, but when Vincent (John Travolta) takes her out, she is surprisingly cerebral. Conversation regarding a rumored foot rub catches her off-guard and she reprimands Vincent and Jules for being more gossipy than a "sewing circle". Yet, those scenes all pale in comparison to the events that lead up to the infamous adrenaline shot. This is where Thurman truly shines.

Right up there in terms of popularity to Mrs. Wallace is, of course, The Bride. one of cinema's most famous heroines and for good reason. Thurman underwent an exhaustive physical regiment in order to play The Bride and the training paid off onscreen (particularly this sequence Ben analyzed). Few initially thought that Thurman would be able to hold her own against actors familiar with the kung fu genre, but doubters were silenced when the film debuted.

Best film: Thurman and Tarantino's first collaboration is the high mark that both will always be remembered for, and for that reason Pulp Fiction takes the cake.