Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★★½

Alright, here we go

I can’t say enough about this movie. One of my favorites from the year, decade, Tarantino, Leo, and Brad Pitt.

Tarantino - Argument could be made this is his best script (I still prefer Pulp Fiction) and over time his best movie (it’s still behind PF and Inglorious Basterds for me). It’s definitely the breeziest thing he’s ever made - essentially a hangout movie. Spanning the movie over the course of 3 days is brilliant; I love when movies are contained in a unique fashion. Looking back on Old Hollywood through the lens of the late 60s rising New Wave Hollywood via the 2019 Hollywood Big Budget IP landscape we currently exist in is poetic on another level. Finally, next to killing off Hitler, this is his best piece of revisionist history and one of the few times I can recall most people being okay with the excess violence in one of his movies (referring to the final scene).

Leo - Toss up between this and Wolf of Wall Street for his best performance. He’s my favorite mainstream actor working today because he can perfectly balance indie cred with the “charismatic leading man” in his roles (by comparison, all of his other peers are too bonkers and/or unwilling to conform in the slightest to the notion of a traditional lead actor - think Christian Bale, Joaquin Phoenix). The reason why his turn as Rick Dalton is so amazing is that he’s low key taking on five different roles in one performance. He’s gotta portray: leading man Jake Cahill in Bounty Law, washed up Rick at the beginning, insecure Rick on the set of Lancer, Caleb the villain, Rick with a little bit of confidence after his Italian movie run. Each one of these turns almost feels like a totally different character, yet he’s gotta be able to tie them all together, which makes it all the more impressive. 

Brad Pitt - Cliff Booth is the great, laid back character that Pitt was born to play. Very little acting required on his part, which is not a knock but just goes to show how well cast and written his character is. 

Final thoughts: Brad and Leo are this generation’s Newman and Redford. We deserve more pairings of these two, as they work really well off one another (their scenes together are the highlights of the movie). Also, it was great to get a borderline genre-less movie from Tarantino where the stakes and intensity are turned down. This movie is a prime definition of a modern day rewatchable.

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