Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Review: An Introspective And Rewarding Movie From Tarantino

The Movie ‘Once Upon a Time In Hollywood’, Quentin Tarantino’s ninth, and reportedly penultimate. Film is a slightly meandering but endlessly entertaining road trip through Los Angeles in 1969.

The famed filmmaker’s passion and verve for movie-making beam out of the screen as he takes an unashamedly nostalgic but studied look at the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age.

It starts out as something of a buddy movie between fading TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) . His longtime stunt double-turned-gofer Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt).

Leonardo DiCaprio as fading TV star Rick Dalton and Brad Pitt as his stunt double Cliff Booth

Rick is vulnerable to the vagaries of fame, plagued by self-doubt and a sense of his diminishing relevancy in a cutthroat, fast-moving industry.

However, Rick’s tough-as-nails stunt double Cliff, whose unflappable persona may hide a terrible secret, is the one exposed to the breadline if Rick fails to land new roles and put money in their pockets.

Meanwhile, actress Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), whose star is on the rise, and her husband, director Roman Polanski, have moved into the house next door to Rick’s sprawling home. The desperate actor longs to brush shoulders with these members of the Hollywood elite.

Margot Robbie shines as late actress Sharon Tate

Somewhat disorientatingly merging fact and fiction. Rick and Cliff cross paths with the Manson cult, a group led by Charles Manson who infamously murdered actress Sharon Tate and four of her friends on August 9, 1969.

A sense of dread permeates the scenes with the Manson cult, particularly when Cliff gives a lift to a young hippie girl (Margaret Qualley) out to the Spahn Ranch. The film does not take the directions you expect.

Over the two-hour and 41-minute running time. The audience’s expectations are confounded as Tarantino takes an unhurried look at the Hollywood experience on the way up and the way down.

Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in this Movie

It’s clear the director hugely enjoys spending time with these characters. The film soars in some of the scenes between DiCaprio and Pitt. They bring their A-game as they effortlessly play off one another.

Margot Robbie isn’t given her due share of meaty dialogue. But her portrayal of Sharon Tate is touching and leaves a long-lasting impression. Sharon’s warmth, openness and exuberance are in sharp contrast to Rick’s jaded, lonely existence. She provides many of the film’s more tender moments.

Once Upon a Time In Hollywood has all the dazzlingly sumptuous production values, rich storytelling, razor sharp black humour and top-notch performances you would expect from a Tarantino film.

It also possesses plenty of heart, thoughtfulness and enough gear shifts to keep you guessing.

What ctritic saying about Once Upon a Time in Hollywood:

Kevin Maher (Times – UK)

The plot is a tapestry template that drops in characters like shining beads and watches the story weave slowly around them.

Amanda Greever (The Daily Times – Tennessee)

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is about Tarantino’s fascination with revisionism. The idea that cinema has the power to right past wrongs.

Chris Agar (ScreenRant)

Bolstered by strong performances and immersive production design. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is an introspective and rewarding film from Tarantino.

Brian Gill (Mad About Movies Podcast)

Easily the most accessible Tarantino movie yet. Hollywood serves as a greatest hits album for the filmmaker and DiCaprio-Pitt pairing shines throughout.

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