Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★½

Apparently, Quentin Tarantino agrees with dudebro Mark Wahlberg when the American actor said that he would’ve saved us all from 9/11 had he been on that plane because, of course, celebrities can’t tell the difference between themselves and the characters they play. Tarantino then concludes that Sharon Tate would’ve survived such horrific death had she been living next door to a stunt double who can kick Bruce Lee’s ass and an actor who keeps a flamethrower is his garage which is, and I cannot stress this enough, bullshit.

A love letter to the 60s, cheesy TV shows and movies in general, with lots of references and nods to films and stars that do feel self-indulgent at times but they’re nevertheless amusing, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is overall an empty exercise in nostalgia and cinephilia with no narrative or character development.

The movie follows a has-been, a stunt double and a starlet as they live their mundane lives in the frivolous Hollywood, but Leonardo DiCaprio’s Rick Fucking Dalton, a once-popular actor who now struggles to find relevant roles because of his age and terrible career choices, is the only character who gives Once Upon a Time... an emotional arc —though not an original one— whereas both Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) and Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) enjoy their inconsequential routines and wander around LA where they don't affect anybody's behaviour or reveal much about themselves. Their purpose in the story is mostly pointless throughout the whole film up until its much-talked-about climax.

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