Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★½

Pretty conflicted about this.

It’s no doubt better than his last two movies, but falls short of his truly great work (Fiction & Basterds) because it’s pretty fucking aimless and bloated. There are some straight up boring stretches — he flexes his fanboy muscles a little too much and we get five-too-many references to film history and amalgamations of Italian directors and stars. He gets off on the recreations way too much — Leo’s film/TV scenes carry on for what feels like an eternity. And the Bruce Lee stuff? Feels like something that should’ve been left on the cutting room floor on the first pass. He’s also not nearly as funny a writer/director as he thinks he is, and some of these attempts fall flat on their face.

Despite the aimlessness of it, the bloat, the broad-as-fuck humor, and some troubling plot points (Brad Pitt’s past? wtf? Margot Robbie gets to do so little), I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. It’s not a great film by any stretch of the imagination, but the seeds are there. It might be my predisposition to the material (late 60s, LA, Manson stuff), I dunno. I need to see it again soon to really get a firm grasp on it.

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