Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Real curious to know what mainstream audiences make of this: without any sense of the sixties or Manson, this probably makes zero sense. The reaction in the cinema I saw it in was certainly of bemusement. Personally, I loved its slow filtration of '69 Californian culture and all its hazy plotlessness - as others have said, absolutely Tarantino's most mature work since Jackie Brown, and in a particularly pleasant tone of relaxed non-emphasis of its own maturity. Specifically regarding the now trademark QT revisionism - to which I'd been trying to second-guess how Tarantino would deal with the actual Cielo Drive murders since the film's announcement - unsurprising: yet it feels like more intriguing ambiguities exist here than they did in Inglorious Basterds. As a continuing championing of cinema as the medium of fantasy, uplifting and saddening in equal measure. In pace and construction, style and tone; very much feels like the penultimate film of director who too is "out of time", or on the heels of it. And in his decision to double down on revisionism and the parabolic unison of Rick Dalton and Sharon Tate at the gates of the unbloodied Cielo Dr., also a buried acknowledgement of the inadequacies of his brand of fantasy cinema in the face of reality. It is, merely, a fairy tale. The scene where Sharon Tate sits in on her own movie, just enjoying the laughs and the cheers, basking in the sunset of a soon to pass era, is very much the defining image of an artist who too is soon to be out of the game.

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