Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood (2019)

“All right, what’s the matter partner? ” – Cliff Booth

Number of Times Seen – 1 (21 Aug 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A washed up actor and his stunt double try to find meaning in their lives when their careers and success begin to decline.

My Take on it – I have been a fan of Quentin Tarantino ever since I saw Reservoir Dogs (1992) on video in 1993.

I have always been enamored by the way he creates characters who are given great dialogue that help develop such intriguing and enjoyable stories.

This film is another get one to add to his filmography and proves how impressive a film auteur he truly is.

The story presented here is quite interesting and although it may be about 15-20 minutes too long, it still manages to work and be captivating the entire time.

The way that the story is built up to the climactic scene works quite well and it allows the viewer to get a clear idea of who each of the character are and what they are trying to achieve as we journey to the climax of it all.

Parts of the film seem somewhat pointless as things move along, but once you have the ability to look back on the whole story, it’s quite easy to see where it all fits in on the grand scheme of things.

This film is clearly a fairy tale as the title suggests, but not one that many would expect.

Viewers who are completely unaware o the true history of the Manson family and Sharon Tate are going to miss out on some very interesting parallels that this fictional story has with the real life events.

I’m not sure of Tarantino really expects his viewers to be aware of the true history, but it actually helps enhance the way one looks at the “alternative” history if you have that knowledge.

The cast (like in all Tarantino films) is superb and both Leonardo Dicaprio and Brad Pitt give exquisite performances here.

Despite not being the lead character, Pitt manages to bring a more intriguing and compelling character to the story and my bet would be that between the two of them, he gets more nominations (and possible wins) for his work here.

The characters are all developed really well and we are able to get a very clear idea as to how they each got to this point in their lives and careers and that actually helps make this “alternative” history feel even more realistic than on would expect it to be.

This is a film that is quite comprehensive and is inundated with lots of small aspects of the story that it requires numerous views in order to fully appreciate it and I’m quite looking forward to seeing this movie a few more times in order to absorb it all so thoroughly.

Bottom Line – Another great film by Tarantino that shows how much of an auteur he really is.  The story itself might be slightly too long, but the buildup to the climax is done nice and slowly in order for us to get a clear idea of who the characters are and what they are trying to achieve. Many of the aspects of the film as it moves towards its point may seem extraneous along the way, yet when it all comes together, it’s quite understandable how and why we got to the point we find ourselves in. The film is a fairy tale and that is apparent by the title, yet one who isn’t aware of the real history of the Manson family and Sharon Tate will miss out on some interesting parallels in the story since we are meant to be aware of the true history while watching this “updated” alternative history. Pitt and DiCaprio are both superb here, but my money is on Pitt getting numerous award nominations (and possible wins) for his portrayal of a calm and cool stunt man who might not be the lead character, but he is the most intriguing one nevertheless. The characters are all developed really well up to a point where we can get a clear idea as to how they all find themselves in the place they are currently in and that helps make this “alternative” history seem in some ways more realistic than one could imagine it could be.  This is a movie that will require numerous rewatches in order to fully take in everything that happens along the way.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – When Charles Manson goes to the Polanski house and Jay tells him that at Terry and Candy aren’t there. He was talking about Doris Day’s son record producer Terry Melcher and his then girlfriend actress Candice Bergen. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)


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6 thoughts on “Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood (2019)

  1. This movie sucked. Following Tarantino’s revisionist history on Hitler in Inglourious Basterds – he now plays God and puts his colossal ego on display in rewriting the Manson family and their killings of Sharon Tate and others.He knows how to make movies and the recreation of 1969 Hollywood/LA is impressive – but the wheels have completely come off in terms of the stories he has decided to weave out of whole cloth. I’m not having it. I find him to be reprehensible. Pitt IS better. His character is written better. Shocked that Leo would even play his character – a punk, washed up, crybaby actor who gets lectured and “straightened out” by an 8 year old method actress. The whole thing is ludicrous. And the hinted at idea that Pitt’s stunt man killed his wife? And a flashback scene that tiptoes up to the edge of what might have happened and then chickens out of showing anything? Then why is it there at all? I was a fan of Tarantino back in the Reservoir Dogs days as well. And True Romance (which he wrote and did not direct). Pulp Fiction – on repeated viewings – starts to come apart at the seems. Indulgent ridiculous scenes that are there simply because he wants them there to show off his dialogue skills – but do NOTHING to move the plot or characters – and in fact – if you removed them and showed the movie to someone seeing it for the first time – they’d NEVER know what used to be there. cardinal sin in writing. If it has no purpose – cut it. Tarantino’s gone around the bend – he can stay there If his next movie is in fact his last – it cant come soon enough – and I won’t waste my money.


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