Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★★½

Many people are understandably conditioned to be caught up on the expectations of a plot or a point. These things don’t necessarily matter that much when the medium of film is capable of so much more using visuals, sounds, and language to capture moods, ideas, aesthetics, and just a pure feeling. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was all of these things for a certain time and place that is especially important to the director and the medium itself. Sharon Tate was a symbol in the piece - she was the warmth/heart/light of that time. Her death marked the end of that light. Manson was a symbol for the opposite. He was a culmination of the most warped, twisted, and darkest elements of the counter culture - he was the Hollywood Nightmare. Our two protagonists are the moving pieces caught in between that light and darkness. They have their own depth and layers that are worth getting into but it’s not what I wanted to touch on. The two most important scenes are of Sharon Tate smiling as she watches a theater of people’s reactions to her fun quirky performance on screen and the scene with four Manson family members discussing television and film in a car. I won’t say anything more but please pay attention to both of these moments and try to see how they contextualize everything surrounding them. Maybe you will find your point.

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