Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★★½

reads to me like tarantino saying goodbye to a star-studded time in hollywood’s history, but rather than express his resentment, he instead changes history posing the question: what would hollywood be like today if the movie star still existed?

cliff and rick’s violence against the manson family is less of a robbing of sharon tate’s story, but more a passing of the baton to allow a new generation of movie stars to shine. 

we see the audience laugh along with tate’s performance in wrecking crew, shes married to the hottest director at the time, her star was on the rise. at the same time, the rumblings of the hollywood we know today were also coming into fruition: autobiography of disney, cheap action flicks made in the span of months. 

as an audience, we see what a movie star can bring to a picture: pitt and dicaprio are the leftovers of this star-focused hollywood and make every scene a joy. in saving tate, they insure that her celebrity will grow to superstardom. what would it be like if we lived in this classic era of hollywood? enter fairytale title card. as an audience we also know that tate does not live, thus the movie star dies. hollywood today is driven by franchise and nostalgia. 

its also possible to read this movie as tarrantino being scared of the younger generation. in the real world he finds himself among the likes of pitt and dicaprio, hailed stars of the past who are getting lost in today’s hollywood becuse they are of a different era. whats more, is tarantino even addresses that this time wasnt even that long ago: for rick it was only eight years. for dicaprio it was just three years ago when he won his oscar, and he hasnt been in a movie since. tarantino’s own breakout hit was barely twenty years ago.

the world changes so fast, and this movie, on my second viewing, is tarantino’s way of coming to terms with that. 

the third act IS jaunty, but perhaps thats because its all dream sequence, posing the question, “what would hollywood be like if...”

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