Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★½

Tarantino’s fetishistic love letter and historical revision of the end of a Hollywood era. He overstuffs his film with his mixtape of favorite tunes, references, and styles. There are plenty of indulgent diversions but they aren’t without mostly being entertaining in some way. The film never really seems to serve a larger point, even in Tarantino’s typical mosaic of characters and their journeys. It’s obvious he spends the most time with DiCaprio and Pitt’s characters. The criticism about the way he treats Tate’s character isn’t wholly something I’d agree with but he seems to not understand her as much as the other two. She gets a good scene but never really much depth as a person. She’s static in a way that feels respectful on a surface level. He thankfully forgoes giving Manson and his cronies much to add to their infamy. The film wouldn’t dare walk away without some moments of extreme violence—and they still feel needlessly brutal than funny. The film manages to still be entertaining and fascinating in smaller ways that add up. Tarantino may seem past his prime, knowingly so, so he’s just sort of entertaining himself and indulging his own fantasies(foot fetish shots included) and cinematic ‘what ifs’. Much better director’s have ended up in worse ways and while it may not be wholly meaningful, the film is nonetheless enjoyable and pleasurable.

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