Movie : Once Upon a Time In Hollywood


Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood visits 1969 Los Angeles, where everything is changing, as TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore. The ninth film from the writer-director features a large ensemble cast and multiple storylines in a tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age.

Quentin Tarantino returns, refreshed, with this funny, beautiful period piece, wrapping his story’s loopy laces around movie lore and history, and mixing life and art into a cool, wild collage. With Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Tarantino returns to Los Angeles for the first time since the Kill Bill movies, and it appears to have recharged his batteries. The film feels excited by the way cinema is imprinted in Hollywood’s streets, but also the way its connected/disconnected sprawl offers any number of cool, hidden stories at any given moment. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood moves beautifully and simply, following vintage cars as they blast 1960s-era pop tunes from tinny radios.

But the roads traveled weave together in complex ways, with real history and fake history crashing up against each other, combining into what can only be cinema. As usual, Tarantino also toys with violence, both imagined and real, both direct and indirect, subverting expectations. At the center, Robbie’s Sharon Tate is a little underexplored, but she at least seems sweet and smart. Rick and Cliff, meanwhile, feel like old buddies, with a comfortable shorthand and warmth between them. The combination in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is epic, exhilarating, and wildly entertaining.

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