Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★★½

YouTube Review

For the most part I really loved this. DiCaprio’s complex, hysterical and poignant performance as Rick Dalton is matched every step of the way by Brad Pitt’s cool, understated and badass portrayal of Cliff Booth.

The conversion of Hollywood Boulevard and Los Angeles in general to a 1969 version of the same is pretty astounding and mad props to Tarantino for going practical with the sets and not just CG-ing them in. Needless to say a job well done to all the people working on the sets, costumes and anything else that bolstered the illusion of a world 50 years younger.

The soundtrack is obviously great, this being a staple of QT’s style, and even though some have criticised the lack of plot and excessive amounts of characters driving around listening to music (which I totally understand), I personally am partial to a hang out movie so long as the characters are interesting and the dialogue is compelling, which they are here, and for me the driving around L.A listening to 60’s tunes just helped with the overall immersion of being in that time.

No spoilers here (probably could as it’s been out a while in most places by now but just in case my fellow Brits haven’t had chance to see it yet) but the third act is equal parts hilarious, ridiculous and sentimental (okay so it might lean slightly more towards the ridiculous), and perfectly showcases Tarantino’s knack for tension-building and his penchant for humorous violence. 

Hollywood is not without its flaws however and suffers (as Tarantino films tend to do nowadays) from an over abundance of self-indulgence. Be it many shots of women’s bare feet, to the overly excessive narration towards the end, to the sheer volume of footage we see of films and TV shows set in his world that Rick Dalton has starred in.

This is a film for film-lovers. If you like the art or history of filmmaking, Quentin Tarantino in particular, hangout movies, the 60’s, Los Angeles or bare feet, I think you’re likely to love this. If however you’re looking for a more conventional narrative with a clear plot and tightly-constructed screenplay, this might not be your thing.


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