Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★★½

Second viewing. Confirms that this is the culmination of QT’s obsession with the way movies infiltrate and transmute reality. Complaining about that is like chiding Hong Sang-soo for making a movie about romantic dissolution; it’s like flagging neurosis in a Woody Allen joint. This is what he’s about - that’s what this movie is about. The ending may appear to be derivative because it’s the grandest example of reality and the movies running parallel and perpendicular. Yet, there are fissures everywhere, forks in the road. Robbie playing the character of Tate watching the real Tate playing a character. Corbucci is the second best Spaghetti Western director, Brandy gets two cans of dog food.  Two Mexican restaurants, two homes side-by-side, representing two styles - muscular action riffs and European arthouse. Cliff lives behind the drive-in movie screen, the stunt man literally pulled into the light to fuel the illusion before you, he’s the reality. However, he’s the one who becomes the movie character, the one that rewrites history, the one that defies physics. There are two main shows, Bounty Law and Lancer. There are two suitors for Tate. There are two ways to interpret the truth about Cliff’s wife. Marvin watches a Rick Dalton double-feature. Lee and Cliff only get to finish two skirmishes in their best out of three. These two worlds infinitely blend and retract. QT’s choose your own adventure. Once upon a time….

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