Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Brad Pitt's performance is what continues to tug at my brain. It feels more conspicuously Brad Pitty than the other two leads—Leo and Margot fade into these characters in ways that deeply impressed me, but Cliff Booth didn't always overcome the star power of the man embodying him.

Even so, I think this is congruent with Cliff being the least savory of these characters by far, a man nobody in the year 2020 would describe as a hero. He's the key ingredient of an idea Tarantino is generating: that while film can never reverse a tragedy, it can dialogue with it, maybe even defang it.

By sending his own monster into the path of well-known assassins, he creates a space in our culture where Sharon Tate is allowed to live. This is a great director's most heartbroken film.

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