Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★★½

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

This review may contain spoilers.

Hey! You're a good friend, Cliff.
I try.

>Leo and Brad are FUCKING EXCELLENT. They have enough chemistry to make Marie Curie proud, and Leo gives Rick Dalton a lot of understated depth and frailty; it's clear he loves his job and he loves to do movies, and he's afraid of being, as he puts it, "slightly more useless every day."
Brad is also great on the opposite sense, as he starts the film by playing Cliff as a cool, suave macho, and ends the film by playing him as an absolute psycopath, who still cares for his friend. Their bromance is beautiful, you know? It warms my cynical heart to see two fucked-up men caring for each other.
>Margot Robbie, as underused as she is, is also amazing as Sharon Tate. She brings levity to the film and acts as a ray of sunshine to everyone around her. It's wonderful to see.
>The supporting cast is excellent, too. Al Pacino, Margaret Qualley, Austin Butler, Dakota Fanning, and specially, Julia Butters. They also feel real, they feel like they could pop out of the screen any second and talk to you. Fuck. Even tertiary characters like Francesca or Bruce are one-scene wonders.
>great cinematography. Nothing flashy, but the film looks GREAT
>terrific sound design, as well
>what an awesome script. Could be tighter, but this movie doesn't care about plot or getting from point A to point B. It lets its characters and setting wander, develop, and grow, all the while peppering in quirky, Tarantinesque dialogue.
>This is not a plot-based film and it's actually really cool to see Quarrell Tortellini revel in this universe and its people. It's kind of a GTA-style movie.
>If the production design team doesn't win EVERY award, that's the proof our God is a cruel God. This film feels REAL, feel authentic. The posters? The costumes? The buildings? The reconstruction of classic films? Holy SHIT. This is probably my fav depiction of L.A. yet (haven't seen Inherent Vice or Silver Lake tho)
>Bring a Little Lovin' is gonna be stuck in my head for MONTHS, dammit. Outstanding music choices, as always.
>This is probably Tarantino's most overtly comedic movie yet. The jokes here feel like Jokes, with setup and punchline and all, whereas in his other movies they are more part of the general absurdity. It's incredibly funny.
>"Don't cry in front of the Mexicans."
>"What the fuck did you do to my car?!"
>Bruce Lee's battle screams
>"We love Pussy." "We sure do!"
>"Rick. It's a flamethrower."
>the whole trailer room scene with Rick ranting to himself
>"I'm reading a Walt Disney biography." "How old are you?"
>actually, just everything that comes out of Trudi Fraser's mouth. That girl was an absolute scene-stealer.
>any time Rick starts tearing up
>the Manson family killers arguing about murder like teenagers
>Brad Pitt's stoner laugh. I cannot stress enough how utterly hilarious it was
>The whole sequence at the Western set is some of the best, most complete stuff Tarantino has directed.
>The sequence at Spahn Ranch is INTENSE. Like, way intense, even when almost nothing happens.
>The final confrontation. A lot of people hate it. They say QT wants us to cheer on a straight old white male brutally beating and killing women, but I really didn't see it that way. What I saw was QT showing us how much of a murderer and a monster Cliff can be, and what the Manson family really inflicted on Sharon Tate and her friends. The brutality and the overkill of it all didn't amuse me; it got me saying "holy shit" over and over until Rick gets his flamethrower.
Horror and laughter are so close that you can go from one to the other, and that's what happens in this scene. The kills are so over the top you can't help but have a gut reaction of hilarity, but I didn't perceive, in any moment, that QT wants us to perceive the killings as "cool". Only brutal.

>Bruce Lee deserved better imo. Like, way better. He was the ultimate fighter of all time and yet he gets fucked up by Cliff?
>painting Polanski in a positive light? big YIKES
>this movie is 20 minutes too long. As I said before, the script could be tighter, but this is more of an explorative movie. You do you, Quentin.
>Sharon Tate is UNDERDEVELOPED AND WASTED. You had the symbol of the 60s cinema on your hands, and you wasted her! A couple of party scenes ain't enough, and while the cinema scene was beautiful, I still wanted a bit more Sharon. Shame.
>What the hell was that time skip? The film rushes a lot of exposition in the span of 10 minutes, which makes me think there was a previous cut where we got these scenes they rush over, MAYBE. The pacing in that last half hour is fucked.
>I would've really wanted to see how a director like QT handled the character of Manson. Shame.

Now, there's another issue I want to address even if it has nothing to do with the movie:
Why do people suddenly hate Tarantino's foot fetish? (and Tarantino movies in general)
It's a trend i've noticed on here of people calling Tarantino out on his obsession with feet, and saying he's a mediocre director and etc. Reviewers like Lucy are ashamed of getting into film thanks to QT. But, what these people are actually saying is that they hate Tarantino for his real-life scandals, and they need an excuse to hate his films.

Like, dude. He may not be an angel, or even a nice person, but he's an excellent director. That he did wrong things doesn't mean you shouldn't recognise how talented he is.

The fetish excuse seems particularly stupid to me. Oh sure, when Almodóvar (or his dark twin, Waters) puts a fuckton of transvestites in his movies it's fine, or when Russ Meyer puts huge boobs it's okay, but when Quantum Tarantula puts like 4 or 5 feet shots in this, these people suddenly cry "PERVERT!" QT has been a huge pervert since the beginning. Most directors are. In fact, have you seen how many foot fetishism there is in Death Proof? Or Kill Bill? Or From Dusk till Dawn?? OUATIH is tame by QT's standards.

Casual racism and misoginy are other excuses i've seen. He's ALWAYS been like this. He always makes offensive jokes, dark jokes. That's his sense of humor. The killings, while extreme, don't mean the scene isn't an excellent scene, and if you're too much of a pussy to stomach three deaths, I think you're better staying on your safe space.

It's frustrating to see how #woke and #MeToo culture have politicized the cultural landscape to the point any kind of violence against women makes the product #problematic and completely negates any value it might have. With this I'm not approving of violence against women, fuck's sake. I'll never approve that. But it's tiring to see people shit on good films because they have one misoginistic joke or scene, and praise mediocre films because of their "yaaaasssss qween SLAY" message.


What a great movie. Not perfect, but the good stuff makes up for the shitty stuff.
Quarry Tortellini shows us he still has the touch. This is not what he has accustomed us to in the past, but it's a really interesting, beautiful exploration of a time period, a setting, and a group of wonderful characters. This is the kind of movie that reminds me why I love cinema.

Sebastián liked these reviews