With the fantastic new trailer for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood just released and the film having its world premiere in Cannes, anticipation for Quentin Tarantino’s latest is at an all-time high. The movie, set in 1969's Hollywood, has already been the subject of some controversy on how it will handle the Manson murders and victim Sharon Tate.
While Tarantino is no stranger to controversy, his films have included a number of compelling and layered female characters. The women in Tarantino's films stand toe-to-toe with any of the male characters and often prove to be more capable than them. They are clever, determined and fierce which give us confidence he'll give Sharon Tate the same treatment. Here are some of the fiercest female characters from Tarantino's films.
10 Bridget Von Hammersmark (Inglourious Basterds)
Inglourious Basterds is a surprisingly hilarious WWII adventure which constantly subverts expectations. For instance, the titular Basterds might appear to be the heroes of the film, but they prove to be quite incompetent at anything besides violence. When it comes to the complex plans, the women take the lead, especially German spy Bridget von Hammersmark.
Von Hammersmark chose to stay in Germany and fight the rise of Hitler rather than flee. She is the mastermind behind the assassination plan that could very well end the war. The only issues she run into are thanks to the Basterds mucking things up.
9 Mia Wallace (Pulp Fiction)
The world of Tarantino's Pulp Fiction is one filled with violent people. Mia Wallace might not have those violent tendencies herself, but she certainly isn't intimidated by them either. Despite being the wife of a notorious and dangerous crime boss, Mia is a free spirit who does what she wants.
Even when being taken out by an associate of her husband, Mia is always the alpha in the duo. Vincent Vega might be a killer but he's going to do whatever she tells him to do. And anyone who can walk away from a horrific overdose like she does is proven to be as strong as they come.
8 Elle Driver (Kill Bill)
For Elle Driver to be the most vicious and cruel member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad is quite an accomplishment. The team of expert assassins are all extremely dangerous, but Elle seems to be the only one who takes genuine pleasure in killing. Not only did she participate in the slaughter of The Bride's wedding party, but she also nearly finished off The Bride while she lay helpless in a coma.
Elle is not above underhanded tactics for killing her adversaries which is why she managed to outlive so many of them. She is a skilled fight and not someone you want mad at you.
7 Jackie Brown (Jackie Brown)
Jackie Brown might not appear to be the one in control, but that's only because that's what she wants people to think about her. She is always the smartest person in the room and even though she seems to be doing what she is told, she's actually one step ahead of everyone else.
After Jackie gets caught carrying money for her arms dealer boss, she is made an informant for the police. Most people would see this as being backed into a corner, but Jackie sees it as an opportunity. She expertly plays both sides against each other until she is the one getting out with everything she wants.
6 Broomhilda Von Shaft (Django Unchained)
Living in a life of slavery could destroy even the strongest of spirits. But Broomhilda von Shaft is stronger than most and her desire for her freedom never diminished. Even at the expense of her own safety and after experiencing unimaginable pain from other attempts, Broomhilda refuses to stop trying to escape her captivity.
That fighting spirit kept Boomhilda alive when anyone else would have died. She is smart enough to know how to survive day-to-day, but that doesn't mean she's willing to settle for anything less than her own freedom.
5 Shosanna (Inglourious Basterds)
Like Broomhilda von Shaft, Shosanna is forced to suffer unspeakable injustices through no fault of her own. Instead of the slave-era South black woman, Shosanna lived through Nazi-occupied France as a Jewish woman. After her family is killed by Nazis, Shosanna manages to escape. But survival is not where she is content to stop. She wants vengeance.
While living a quiet life in France, Shosanna seizes on an opportunity to kill the highest ranking Nazi officers, including Hitler. While the Basterds make a mess of everything, Shosanna manages to hatch her own assassination plot which proves to be appropriately frightening and effective.
4 Zoë (Death Proof)
Zoë Bell is a real-life stunt performer who got started in Tarantino's filmmaking universe after performing as Uma Thurman's double on Kill Bill. As a thank you for her hard work on that film, Tarantino had her play herself in his exploitation slasher-car chase movie, Death Proof.
In the film, she is also a stunt performer and proves she is a true badass with one of the most incredible stunt sequences in recent memory. As she holds on to the front hood of a racing car, a deranged madman tries to run her and her friends off the road. It's hard to imagine even Tom Cruise doing a stunt like that.
3 O-Ren Ishii (Kill Bill)
O-Ren Ishii is the first name on The Bride's kill list and it seems like she wanted to get the hardest one out of the way first. O-Ren's backstory is compelling enough to have its own movie. We're told through an anime-style sequence that O-Ren's family was murdered by a crime lord when she was a child. She wasted no time seeking revenge and gradually became a renowned assassin.
As further proof of her ferocity, O-Ren became a boss in the Japanese Yakuza despite being a half-Chinese/half-American woman. She quickly proves why she is the most qualified for the job and proves to be the most capable opponent The Bride faces.
2 Daisy Domergue (The Hateful Eight)
The entire concept of The Hateful Eight is that a group of nefarious and dangerous people are trapped in a confined space together. Though she is the only female and the only one in chains, Daisy Domergue always seems to be the most dangerous.
The film received a fair bit of criticism for the violence inflicted on the character of Daisy, but she seems to bounce back from every bunch ready to take her revenge. She is as cold-blooded as anyone else in that room and she never seems to consider herself to be the one in danger.
1 The Bride (Kill Bill)
You would be hard-pressed to find any other cinematic character as determined and as capable as The Bride in Tarantino's Kill Bill saga. Though she was more than willing to leave behind her violent past, after her wedding party is slaughtered and she is left for dead, she returns with a vengeance.
From her brutal lessons under Pai Mei, to her learning to walk again after her coma, to her taking on the Crazy 88, to her digging her way out of a grave, The Bride has gone through and survived so much. She does it all to complete her goal and when she's done, she walks away.