Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★★★

I think the thing I appreciated most about this, and what some reviewers and even some in the audience I saw this with seem to be tripped up by, was how, different from most of QT’s filmography, many of the scenes are given such a wide berth. This Hollywood 1969 feels like a living, breathing city. Whether we’re firing down the Hollywood Hills, or the Sunset Strip or some non-descript stretch of Southern California freeway or watching some dumbass Sunday night cop-yarn along with the rest of the good residents of Los Angeles, California, this movie is a four-walled house that you live in. It’s so fucking evocative of its time and place that when that last stretch of the 2 hour 45 min running time (not since Casino has such a long movie felt so short) hits, you almost believe it.

A quick note on some of its controversies. The Bruce Lee stuff felt more like a homage to his screen persona than a lampoon to me, but I understand the criticism. This whole fuss seems minor to me, considering how little screen-time the Cliff-Bruce fight lasts, how nice and happy Lee’s brief appearance training Sharon Tate feels and how good I think Mike Moh does in this role, but I 100 percent do not discount that this aspect of the film is bothersome to certain factions of the audience. I’m sure this will all be discussed at length going forward.

Also— the feet. On this, I cannot relate. So much of the discussion here devolves into kink-shaming and I am not here for it. So the man digs feet, so what?

Not ready to say it’s QT’s best quite yet, but it’s definitely tops in the Basterds-Django-Eight cycle. I really loved my first viewing and definitely need a few more before it departs the big screen.

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