Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Maybe he should just stop here? I know it's not my place to say, but throughout I just struggled to find much of lasting value. He said what he wanted to with IB and Django, successfully played with tension and atmosphere in a 'bottle episode' setting of The Hateful Eight, but I just don't know what the objective was here.

I found myself thinking at various points "what's the purpose of this scene" and "does this justify its length?". I feel like a majority of this is just waxing nostalgic, and Tarantino playing around with his characters to reach the end point, in an effort to justify the piece. The in between moments just don't land for me. As fun as it is to see the actors portray their flamboyant characters, all the appropriately gorgeous sets and costumes, those tantalising tracking shots of cars bombing down Hollywood Boulevard(?), I was left wanting more, for those stylish elements to be brought together in a poignant way.

There are so many reminders that you're watching one of his pictures. I never felt like I was stepping into a world he had created, more he was throwing it up on the screen, letting ideas flow in a stream of conscious fashion, all while pointing and explaining every little reference he could get in. I've never had an issue with suspension of disbelief, even in the most ridiculous of films, but I think this is one such occasion where it's the only explanation I can think of as to why I didn't dig a fair portion of this. It felt less of a movie, more of an exercise in fantasy fulfilment.

All that said, I could watch Brad Pitt in this role all day. And the sheer spectacle of the (admittedly verrry morally questionable) climax is something I won't forget. Bad by no means. But sadly I don't find myself eager to watch it again. And I say that as someone who is a sucker for anything 60s.

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