Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood ★★★★½

I'm the type of person who generally thinks a film can contain multiple unforgivable sins and still be a borderline masterpiece.

Tarantino's characterization of the Manson followers as nothing but hippies, which in context serve as a stand-in for 'young people', and how their extreme willingness to literally and symbolically finish killing off (Old) Hollywood is frustrated by a sanctioned push-back from aging, misogynist, racist, industry creeps, ranks pretty damn high among those misfires.

The portrait of the narrative's passive central figure though, the one whose whole existence on screen functions as a living dramatic irony for the tragedy that's supposedly either about to be recreated or subverted, comes off as this incredibly beautiful testament to unrealized stardom and the spellbinding effect of aspiration, but also as this bittersweet lament that she didn't even got the chance to become decadent like everyone else.

The second segment, with Cliff's flashback + trip to the ranch, Sharon going to the movies and Rick at the western set, is as good as, or better than, anything QT has ever made. I love the very end too, when the gate between reality and fantasy is finally opened, the whimsical music rises and the fairy tale title card appears.

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