Once Upon a Time in Hollywood ★★★½

The “narrative flow” of Tarantino film—its plot and character development, pacing, and so on—always felt distinctly American to me. Crystal clear chains of causation drive his stories through exposition, rising action, and finally a satisfying climax. And he often accomplishes this while juggling multiple causation chains and character motivations. 

So it’s ironic that, in a movie about the Hollywood movie industry, Quentin completely abandons this quintessentially American framework. Instead we get an... almost French New Wavey slice of life that’s 2.75 hours long. The movie’s structure is rambling and European, yet so stereotypically American that I felt genuine cognitive dissonance while viewing it. Gore, which usually feels VERY appropriate in a Tarantino film, just seemed out of place here. 

It’s just fucking strange. 3.5 stars.