Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★½


despite tarantino's continuous shortcomings in his previous works to always try and tell us how unique he is through his screenplays, this work finally feels like something we've always been waiting for: an unapologetic portrayal of an alternate universe where hollywood stars are the heroes.

however, in spite of this unique take on hollywood (or at least unique for tarantino), it really doesn't feel like it's accomplishing much, if anything, at all. the story jumps all over the place, the editing leaves plenty to be desired (i know sally menke can't be risen from the dead, but her assistant pales in comparison to her in terms of skill) and above all, it feels more like a movie than lived in. as much as i thoroughly enjoyed the screenplay, i can't help but feel that tarantino's idea of real people might not be very real at all.

with the three main characters on the poster, i feel that the film struggles to figure out which one it truly wishes to focus on. does it want to focus on the would-be actor rick dalton? if so, it fails at doing so, because barely any time is spent on him at all. cliff? not really, he's just given a b-plot that loosely links with the ending. tate? imagine asking tarantino to make a film that revolves around a female! oh wait, that's just deathproof. and the kill bills. and jackie brown. ok, never mind, scratch that, tarantino, you embarrassed yourself! how could you not focus the story on the glorious shannon tate (margot robbie)?! leo and pitt have nice performances too, but they both aren't stellar or anything, just regular.

the production design is definitely the star of the show. feels very unapologetically 60s, to the point where it almost feels a little hubristic. i love how the film is about a story in hollywood and yet, the story hinges on basic movie tropes and stereotypes, it's so meta! (im not sorry for being pedantic at all!)

also, what the fuck is up with the last act? it is all over the place. sorry if this review is very long, just like the movie, but if tarantino can't cut out the fat from the flesh in this, i think i should be excused for following in his footsteps.

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