As he did last month at the Golden Globes, Christoph Waltz beat out four much more famous actors to score the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as the most charismatic character in a historical drama written and directed by Quentin Tarantino.
Now we're really thinking that it's 2010 all over again.
The Austrian-born Waltz was first introduced to a wide American audience via his portrayal of Col. Hans Landa, a scheming yet oddly likable (or at least occasionally amusing) Nazi officer in Quentin Tarantino's WWII revisionist fantasy, "Inglourious Basterds." Tarantino's stylized dialogue effortlessly rolled off Waltz's tongue as he brought a fey charm to a despicable monster, making Landa the most compelling Tarantino character since perhaps Jules Winfield (Samuel L. Jackson) in "Pulp Fiction." Waltz won both the Golden Globe and the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance.
Now, Waltz has reunited with Tarantino for "Django Unchained," a "southern" revenge drama set a few years before the American Civil War in which he plays Dr. King Schultz, a former dentist turned bounty hunter. Schultz is, of course, a much more heroic character than Col. Landa, taking freed slave Django (Jamie Foxx) under his wing and assisting his protege in rescuing his wife (Kerry Washington) from the clutches of an evil plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio), though the two characters are at least not-too-distant cousins in their eccentricity and charisma -- traits made very distinctive (and, admittedly, similar) by Waltz's particularly mannered performance(s).
Now, Waltz has won the Golden Globe and the Oscar for his portrayal of Schultz, as he did three years ago for his performance as Landa.
Christoph Waltz has indeed found the magical formula for scoring major acting awards: Always work with Quentin Tarantino, and more or less play the same guy each time. Apparently, it's a surefire way to beat heavyweights (and predicted frontrunners) like Tommy Lee Jones and Robert De Niro.