Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★★

For many this might be one of Tarantino's weakests, for even though it has his distinctive style and moments, it remains surprisingly restrained and mature for the most part. For me this is more of a positive.

The main focus is on DiCaprio and Pitt's characters and seeing them deal with their problems on a day to day basis. This does lack the excitement or exciting scenes that propel the narrative of the director's previous films, but it does lead to plenty great and humorous moments, specially with DiCaprio's Rick Dalton who gives us a side we haven't seen from him before as this former star on the decline trying to keep it together.

By far the best character for me is Pitt's Cliff Booth, whose charismatic, going along life without any preoccupation was a pure joy to watch and gets a pretty satisfying redemptive arc. No spoilers, but he gets to a place at one point, and it's one of the most nerve-wracking scenes I've seen all year.

Long segments of people driving or just walking are dedicated to establishing the time period, which show Tarantino's incredible attention to detail and how much those can immerse you on the setting, whether it be through references, propaganda and news of the era, all seeing through Robert Richardson's vibrant cinematography.

There's a surprising amount of introspective scenes as well, particularly with Sharon Tate (played wonderfully by Robbie). Although I didn't understood the point of these scenes at first, and wished she was more involved in the main story, they did manage to depict Tate as this kind young woman who was full of life and simply enjoying her rise to fame, and it was elegantly done.

The main reason why I find the director's more quiet style here alluring, is because it allows his love and nostalgia for the 60's to shine more. For him this was an irreplaceable era coming to an end, and the way he concludes the story is controversial and surprisingly bittersweet at the same time.

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