Jackie Brown
Elmore Leonard and Quentin Tarantino, 1997

Hrm, when I started watching this selection of Skandie winners from 1997 it didn't occur to me that it might take me longer to get through them than it took me to live through 1997.

But here's the last one, and once again it's one I'd seen before. Like most of my demographic group I had been wowed by Pulp Fiction, and then Quentin Tarantino didn't make anything for three years, which at that age seemed like kind of a long time, and then he was back with a two-and-a-half-hour epic... except it turned out not to be actually much of an epic. Jackie Brown is a trifle, a caper flick on which to hang some blaxploitation homage. The reason it runs so long is not its vast sweep but rather Tarantino's willingness to spend the better part of an hour on bags changing hands at the mall. That's not a criticism — one of the things I like about Tarantino is that he doesn't follow the usual Hollywood practice of whittling scenes down to scraps. But one of the other things I like about him is that his story concepts are generally more interesting than Elmore Leonard's, so let's put this one aside, jump ahead a dozen years, and get to the big winner of the 2009 Skandies...