Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

As far as movie going goes, OUaTiH has given me the greatest divergence between two peaks of emotion. Elation and perhaps disappointment? If not that, then disillusionment. There were more than a few moments of me not believing this is all the film was, followed at some point by a thought similar to "this is all film is". If not for the direct approach, I don't know that I would have clued in to the direct and metaphorical similarities shared with The Valley of the Dolls and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.

It's a love letter to film, to studios, to critics, but perhaps most importantly to America. Tarantino gave us something our collective soul has always wanted, for Sharon Tate to not have been murdered. Not only does he give us that, he gives us her living happily ever after. The process of getting there was a little bit ugly, a bit trippy, definitely choppy, but underneath it all is a pulpy sincerity that even now makes me smile. It's so dang similar in tone to Ebert's coup de grace and claim to movie making fame, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. Or rather it's Beyond the Beyond in the Valley of the Dolls.

I think the choice to limit Sharon's character to physical grace and joy, with simple but sweet dialogue was a beautiful touch. Not forcing her to be the fulcrum of what inevitably is her story, but rather to allow her to dance her way into our hearts. Brad and Leo are very good. On retrospect I can feel out how Tarantino composed the film with those two as a bit of television serial. Heck I'd happily spend hours watching Cliff Booth glide around town in the Caddy. Now, how long do we have to wait to see Tim Roth's cut scene?

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