Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★★

So Tarantino is still trying to make late 60s Hollywood a thing. This may be his strongest play so far, but it's still unconvincing. It's obvious the shows depicted here influenced Tarantino when building his brand of cocky two-dimensional characters shooting off sizzling monologues and taking lives in gruesome ways. Ironically this movie is more focused on the fragile off-camera egos and is full of ambiguity and doubt, and it's even more enjoyable than Tarantino's comfort zone of coolness.

Is this the first time he actually cast a great actor to play a real character? It's usually about casting the right character actor for each part, but Leo is something else. He's not holding back anything, but he has an intense depth that makes his character more than his outbursts and insecurities. He's obviously the star and main character of the movie, but most of the momentum is created by Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt who are both just insanely charming and fun to tag along with. Tarantino is just a master of his craft, making the supporting cast carry most of the load. There are plenty of weird choices, like intermittent narration by an actor who also plays a different role in the movie, and intentionally bad editing. I don't know if that serves a purpose other than referencing poor craft of old Hollywood, but the lasting impression of the movie is that it is a treat to watch so maybe those stylistic choices that appear flawed on the surface really do improve the end result.

Carl liked this review