Hateful Eight is my favorite Tarantino film and the only one I could easily watch once a week.
I’m not the greatest fan of theorization as far as appreciating a film or not is concerned, but although not sufficient to fully explain why I love the film so much, there are obvious reasons I can give.
I’ll start with this mesmerizing 4 minutes opening.
Richardson shots rhythmed by a Morricone score is an absolute winner which gets me completely immersed in the film from the start.
Richardson makes it simple but stunning and Morricone delivers one of his finest work in decades - if not ever.
Then there is the way the whole plot is structured.
I simply never get bored, I find all the chapters entertaining, and although classic in its setting - à la “Murder On The Orient-Express“ -, the whodunnit is originally conducted and captivating.
I know some find the long pieces of dialogue boring and/or self-indulgent but they work very well for me - that stagecoach part is pure gold - as this has always been his style and I’ve always loved it.
The acting has been so carefully worked out you can almost think all these lines could have never been played differently. Using their voice, accent and tone, each actor brings specific “music” and rhythm which give volume to every scene. I actually made myself an MP3 file of the film just to listen to it.
The cinematography, the set designs and the costumes are splendid - esthetically elegant and highly sophisticated - and mix together so perfectly that pretty much every shot could be a painting - their storyboard must have been quite something.
Cast and crew considered, he hired exceptional technicians which, of course, tends to make things easier, but he really made something out of it that very few directors could have achieved by creating a sense of oneness and coherence which makes the whole greater than the sum of its (stunning) parts.
And that epic ending with Chris reading the Lincoln letter next to Marquis makes me cry every time, it’s as simple as that.
It’s a touching moment and the symbolic behind it is beautiful which leads me to point out the remarkable finesse with which Tarantino ultimately paints a very accurate metaphor of America - not as we all would like it were but as it really is, with all its contradictions and weaknesses but also beauties and strengths.
Not only my favorite Tarantino - and God knows how huge a fan I was way before it came out -, but also the film of the decade as far as I’m concerned.
My only reproach would concern the length. It’s too short in the sense that I would have loved to see these characters as leads in their own film.