But the frame of reference isn't my biggest issue with this film. I'll let the excellent Matt Zoller Seitz explain what drives Tarantino movies:
Tarantino’s talk is not just the fuel of his movies: it’s the engine, the wheels and most of the frame. It’s where the real dramatic and philosophical action takes place. The gunshots, car crashes and torture scenes are punctuation.And despite the mixed metaphor, I agree with his point wholeheartedly. To show you why he (and I) thinks this, here's a montage of this dialogue compiled by Seitz:
So we run into a problem when the majority of the dialogue in a Tarantino film is spoken in either French or German. The problem, specifically, is, I don't speak French or German, and I imagine that this is true for most of the American audience. So even though some pretty spectacular things are done with the subtitles--in addition to the incomparable Tarantino plot and camera-work and two Mexican standoffs--it's just not the same. Tarantino cuts the audience off here from what it most connects with. And it's this gap, more than any Holocaust squeamishness, that keeps this movie from being great. It comes close, but it's not great.