Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★½

speaking strictly as a Brad Pitt obsessive first and human second: i’m satisfied! i’ve been waiting since Lt. Aldo Raine said “Grat-zee” in 2009 (1944?) for a comedic Brad performance as earnestly playful and laugh-out-loud ridic as this one. not to imply that he hasn’t been funny since — he’s BEEN funny — but now he’s funny on the big screen again, baby! 

Cliff Booth does everything Brad is famous for: he takes his shirt off, gets in fistfights, repeatedly munches on random food items for no reason, etc. you know, all the Standard Brad Tropes. it’s a film fundamentally built on star power that aims to celebrate star power, so these little nods make sense, and are maybe even encouraged. unlike wholly cool characters Aldo Raine/Rusty Ryan/Tyler Durden of Brad’s past, however, Cliff has a simmering melancholy about him. though he looks like a glamorous Hollywood stuntman, in reality he’s a lonely dork whose only true companions are his dog and the TV, both of whom he talks to at night, isolated in his one-man trailer park. (intriguing parallels abound between his and his friend/employer/husband Rick Dalton’s private lives, which i’d get into if this review wasn’t intended to be purely Brad-centric.)

okay, well, that might be about as much as i can say about Cliff without indulging in spoilers. cant wait ‘til it’s socially acceptable for me to talk about how crazy it is that he [REDACTED] in this flick. looking forward to Brad Astra this fall, where my mans is gonna prove that, yes, he can still crush dramatic roles ..... even in SPACE!!!


UPDATE: if you’re interested in 1000+ words of my thoughts on the non-Brad parts as well, you can read my Serious Review on Much Ado About Cinema!

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