Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★★★

..."it just touched me so much that big tears [started falling]. The front of my shirt was wet. I actually got to see my sister again… nearly 50 years later." - Debra Tate

could have watched this luxurious hangout piece for 666 hours, but then that's the point isn't it? cinematic wish fulfillment, a tinsel town fairy tale in which men are men who save the day and preserve the purity of what could have been. Tarantino has said in the past that his works fall into either a 'realer than real universe' or a 'movie universe', in which characters from the former will go see films from the latter. he is a director who loves metatext, who lives for structural subversion, and who must certainly know of every type of critique leveled against him. so now we have the first thing he's ever done that feels totally like "A Quentin Tarantino Picture" in quotation marks, wholly & completely aware of its own false existence, every single auteurist kink on proud display - bare feet kicked up prominently on the dashboard, match cuts connecting people both real & fake across time & space on set & in theater, a third act turn toward blood-letting that goes so long and so over-the-top into Sideshow Bob garden rake territory that it could only be auto-critique, its director eagerly asking "this is what you came for, right?" the grown up little boy, peering into a snowglobe made by & for himself, living in the movies where he can never be alone. where evil is demystified for kicks. where misdeeds are forgiven for myth. where fragments of life can be captured & replayed forever, immortalizing those who might otherwise be left at the wayside by the march of time. where history can be changed, and a little voice emitting from a tin box can strike the heart like a bolt of lightning. i wish something, anything, made me as happy as this magnum opus clearly makes its director. maybe i'll buy another ticket and head back for round two.

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