Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★★

A new Quentin Tarantino film is always something to get excited about, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is no exception. Set at a fascinating time in American movie history, at that crossroads between old Hollywood moviemaking (big epics, musicals, tough guy westerns) and the reving engine of the incoming counter culture movement, led by Easy Ride, Tarantino charts the descent of one star against the ascent of another; Dicaprio’s Rick Dalton, former television star now reduced to guest spots and Italian spaghetti westerns, and Margot Robbie’s bright young starlet Sharon Tate, seemingly destined for big things (though we all know the horrific  conclusion to her story). This being a Tarantino movie, you kind of know what to expect and if you’re not already a fan, this won’t be the film to convert you; snappy writing, film references both populist and niche, stylish soundtrack, some overindulgence and bagginess (the film could certainly benefit from a tighter edit), universally great performances, eclectic casting, humour, pathos, unflinching violence, all the Tarantino trademarks. You can tell he had an absolute blast recreating the film scenes and tv episodes of the time period too, as well as the fake spaghetti western posters. Pitt and Dicaprio are both superb, hilarious and sad at the same time, sharing great chemistry, while Robbie bringseffervescent   life to the sad footnote in history that is Sharon Tate. Not a masterpiece (I think it’s too long and undisciplined for that) but still a brilliant film, made with love, passion and reverence, full of fantastic Tarantino moments.