Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★½

A 170 minute buddy movie with an exclamation point. Pitt and DiCaprio act their hearts out, they really do. They're dynamite. The emotional beat between DiCaprio's Dalton and the little girl telling him he had just given the best acting performance she'd ever seen was absolutely hilarious (and maybe a little meta to DiCaprio finally getting his Oscar in his most recent role?) and heartwarming; the highlight of the movie for me. I cackled at the Zoe Bell/Kurt Russell scene. I loved seeing how QT built the LA of my dad's childhood, I geeked out a little at the Burbank scenes because that's where me and my dad are from....

Then, the negatives: it's a little indulgently edited. Some scenes go on a bit forever. It's just not as tight as, say, Basterds. The feet shots were a bit OTT, even for Tarantino. Robbie's Tate is a silent, wordless object for 90% of her screentime. Speaking of the whole Tate storyline — I guess we should have known he was gonna Basterds the murders, but Tarantulino effectively exploits them to create a sense of dread in the final 1/3. Not sure how I feel about any of that yet, but I'm going to see it again Wednesday on 35MM!

So it's a mixed bag on first viewing, but my favorite Tarantino in the last 10 years (since his masterpiece, so, good company). Brandy's a good dog.

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