Tarantino the literal auteur huh.
You can smell the director’s movies a mile away, and Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood is a goddamn rosebush.
With 8 films under his belt that are more decorated than his ‘heroes in Inglorious Basterds, it’s onto his love letter of a film for the apparent ‘golden age’ of Hollywood.
And honestly those are the words I keep thinking of when thinking back over this film.
Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood is just this immense love letter to Hollywood.
Everything is changing.
TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore.
Cinematic brilliance is something that comes hand-in-hand with Tarantino. There’s a reason he has a group of actors who follow him from project to project, which are often critically acclaimed.
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood will most likely be the same.
Seeing Tarantino team-up once more with Pitt and joined for the first time by DiCaprio, we already see a film with strong leads. Margot Robbie, DiCaprio’s co-star from The Wolf Of Wall Street, joins as actor Sharon Tate, and then star after star slowly joins the film as it goes on.
Just when you think you’ve seen it all, another one turns up and then another one and another one and wow, the PULLS of the man.
Anyway, that all makes sense simply because this film slips between an interesting narrative of real, but not. I suspect that’s what the ellipsis in the title symbolizes, that it is Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood.
A fairy tale.
Neon hues light up the strip, as the era of free-love slowly draws to a close on the concrete landscape. Television is heir-apparent, as the bombast of cinema diminishes.
This is where Dalton and Booth fit in.
DiCaprio is ONE HUNDRED PERCENT getting nominated for this. Never have I seen him take on a character and embody it in so many ways. The amount of times I found myself questioning what type of scene we were dealing with was astounding, and it helps to fabricate this romanticized version of Hollywood.
And I mean, when you have Brad Pitt as your right-hand man, you’re only really ever going to go further and further with your performance, because Pitt personifies that air of ‘cool’ that existed during the era, so you have to meet him in the middle.
Brilliantly executed and technically beautiful, the love Tarantino has for this era of Hollywood is gloriously on-display in this film. It aims to drench you like the cocktail margaritas on display, and maybe get you to start smoking with its constant display of the ‘cool’ act.
Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood is quite possibly Tarantino’s most whimsical piece yet. A golden parallel of a time he holds dear, retold in a way that is both his and not.
There’s a reason it got a standing ovation at Cannes.
This thing is goddamn chocolate-roses teamed with a magnum of Moët because it's this overwhelming love letter from Tarantino to an era of film he laps up with aplomb.
Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood is something I took awhile to digest, and upon doing so...I think I need another plate.