Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★★★

Loved it even more the third time. Any nagging doubt I had about the film is gone by now. Can't believe my favorite movie of 2019 might end up being a Tarantino flick. What a world! A few random thoughts:

-I love all the driving scenes. One of the joys of Los Angeles, on a good day, is hitting the road just as dusk hits and the lights spark to life around you. Tarantino and his team manage to capture that magic feeling wonderfully, most poignantly in the "California Dreamin'" montage as we see Sharon, Rick, Jim Stacy and others take the streets after a long day of work and play.

-Watching Rick and Cliff zoom through the streets, listening to KHJ on the radio, and then cutting to Sharon and Roman listening to the same commercial in their car underscores how this "disposable" culture that floats around us at all times actually serves to bring us together, high and low. You see entertainment as connective tissue time and time here. Hell, even the Manson clan is watching FBI on Sunday nights!

-This film is chock full of great minor performances, but I'd like to call special attention to Dakota Fanning's genuinely menacing Squeaky Fromme. "Hey, Mr. Eight Years Ago..." Don't close the voting on who's the best Fanning sister just yet; we might have a competition on our hands after all.

-Speaking of Squeaky, if the deliciously tense Spahn Movie Ranch sequence tells us anything, it's that Tarantino should forget about Star Trek and make a full-blooded horror movie his next time out.

-Rivals Jackie Brown for Tarantino's best soundtrack

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