The last of Quentin Tarantino’s pre-pastiche (semi) real world films, Jackie Brown was even a departure from Pulp Fiction’s pop-culture, geek stream of consciousness cool. It demonstrated that the director was capable of working (largely) outside his comfort zone, and that he was able to find his own voice in material he hadn’t fashioned (Steven Soderbergh achieved this with another, similarly leisurely Elmore Leonard adaptation, Out of Sight, a year or so later).
Everything is purposely dialled down in Jackie Brown and it makes for a surprisingly touching and heartfelt tale. De Niro delivers a wonderfully low-key, un-showy performance; Pam Grier pays homage to her own cinematic roots while remaining utterly believable and compelling, and Tarantino pulled yet another venerable acting talent off the cinematic scrapheap, offering him a new (and enduring) lease of life (a superb Robert Forrester).
The running time may be a tad on the self-indulgent side (a common criticism of QT’s) but it turns out that spending time with these characters is never a chore. You can keep your Django. Jackie is the real deal.