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The One Time Quentin Tarantino Legitimately Felt He Was Robbed At The Oscars

Brad Pitt in Inglourious Basterds

There are a number of outstanding film directors who never have been recognized by the Academy for their efforts. Alfred Hitchcock stands out at the top of that heap, but he’s joined by the likes of Sir Ridley Scott, David Lynch, Michael Mann and David Fincher, to name just a few. Quentin Tarantino has two Oscars, though they’re both for screenwriting on his brilliant efforts, Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained. But the rest of his Oscar nominations remained just that – nominations – and never turned into wins.

Quentin Tarantino hopefully is going to get a few more chances at Oscar gold this upcoming year with Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. And while hitting the awards circuit to promote that film, the director sat down with CinemaBlend’s own ReelBlend podcast and opened up about his filmography and his past flirtations with Oscar. In a candid bit of conversation, Tarantino mentioned the one time he felt like he truly was robbed by the Academy, confessing:

In the case of Inglorious Basterds, we had a shot [at Best Picture], but we all knew Kathryn Bigelow was going to win for The Hurt Locker. It just kinda was the way it was. Now, in that instance, I was totally pissed that I lost Original Screenplay to Mark Boal. And I like Mark, and we were actually doing a lot of shit-talking with each other through the entire process. I just think my script was better, all right? That's where I felt I got robbed.

You know, he probably was. The opening monologue alone, with Christoph Waltz and the farmer, should have earned Quentin Tarantino the Screenplay Oscar over Mark Boal for The Hurt Locker. Later in our conversation, Tarantino actually confirmed to ReelBlend that he thinks that monologue is the best he has ever written, topping the Sicilian one he wrote for True Romance.

Years after Basterds, Tarantino faced Mark Boal one more time. In 2013, Boal wrote Zero Dark Thirty (again with Bigelow at the helm), and Tarantino had Django Unchained in competition. And Tarantino hilariously told us:

I bumped into him in the lobby of the Kodak. I go, ‘Motherfucker, you're not even getting out of your seat. If you get out of your seat, you better be taking a piss because you ain't getting it. I am not competing against anybody else here, except I'm going to shut your fucking candy store down tonight!’

And he did. Quentin Tarantino picked up his second Oscar for screenwriting for Django Unchained that year, and Mark Boal assumedly got up to use the bathroom during the Academy Awards. Will Quentin get another shot at a third Oscar this year? We hope that Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood gets him there, and we will find out soon enough.

Sean O'Connell
Sean O'Connell

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.