Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★★

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood not only made me feel nostalgic and wistful for a late 60’s Los Angeles I never encountered, it made me feel those things for a time and place that probably never existed. This is undoubtably a fairy tale but not one that idealizes its setting or characters. This is mostly a portrait of characters nearing the end of something, whether it be their relevance or place in a changing world. Tarantino feels especially reflective and inquisitive about this time. He not only does this by replicating Los Angeles in 1969 down to incredible minutia but by also imbuing the film with an even more “hang-out” vibe than any of his previous films. The result is a wonderfully romantic film, one that loves what its about but has enough of a critical eye to know this was never a sustainable environment. The ending is surprisingly moving as well. Critics of how Tarantino uses Sharon Tate in this fictional narrative and her lack of dialogue are completely missing the point. Robbie provides a more human look into who Sharon Tate was than the object of fascination her untimely death has made her out to be. In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood she’s a real character, one with hopes and dreams that you know she probably had and never got to live out. It’s a really beautiful sentiment and a wonderfully dense and complex film, one I cannot wait to see again.

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