Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.


“And awayyyy we go.”

More thoughts later, for now I’m absolutely blown away at this aimless hangout of a time capsule.

Update: like watching the most gloriously burned out sun fade away into the night. having just enough spark or, uh, a flamethrower to see the next day. 

Tarantino is exploring the fleeting feeling of relevancy and purpose in the “Golden Age” of Hollywood. It definitely feels like his most reflective and personal film to date, certain moments feel made specifically for him to understand, but I still feel the indulgence, at least for this film, stretches to pay off for the audience as well. Even though he’s throwing deep cuts from well before I was born, there’s a real control of tone and presentation where even if we don’t have context, we get to still be in on the joke(s).

I loved the paralleling of Tate being just as insecure as Dalton, even though she’s conceivably in a place where Rick would die to be at. She is the silent,
guiding light of the movie and, if this makes any sense, somehow the movie has no use for her but makes absolutely zero sense if it were without her by the end.

And that ending...the genius bait and switch on everyone’s expectations, and the moment where Rick and Cliff have to physically face what they’ve been making a living off of pretending, as it has now literally become a life and death matter. Its the driving scene to push this into the Once Upon... fairytale lens Tarantino is using.

I really don’t want this to be Tarantino’s last but it should kinda be, no? It’s essentially his entire soul purely projected into glorious celluloid and something that will keep him very relevant long after he’s finally done. Whenever that may be.

Other things:

- I adore the dream sequence where Cliff fights Bruce Lee. Who doesn’t?, but I don’t see people acknowledging that it is a dream sequence and not a flashback. So many small things that build Pitt’s character into something much more than his performance initially gives off.

- I hope this is recognized for at least some crafts awards by the end of the year.

- that girl child actor is incredible!!!!

- that soundtrack

- possibly the most I’ve ever laughed at a QT film

- Brad Pitt fucking. RULES.

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