Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, melds the obsessions of his previous films into a mature masterpiece.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywoodby Alexa Dalby
CAUTION: Here be spoilers
“Los Angeles 1969. TV actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and long-time stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) are working in an industry that is moving on without them. The new Hollywood is embodied by Rick’s next-door neighbour — rising star Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie). Eventually their fates will collide in the most unexpected way.” – Empire
“The director’s love letter to 1960s Hollywood, where all women are stereotypes and white men the real victims, disturbs and dazzles in equal measure.” – Observer
“Since Quentin Tarantino can, at this point, make movies about whatever he wants, it’s interesting to consider why each of his past three efforts has been, on some level, a meditation on the western… Once upon a Time… in Hollywood is not a western so much as a movie largely – though not wholly – about westerns and their hold on the American popular imagination.” – BFI
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood displays to magnificent advantage all Tarantino’s characteristic tricks of his trade so far, refined into a narrative that’s carried along by the chemistry between DiCaprio’s and Pitt’s characters, all set in a lovingly realised period setting and ’60s shooting style. It’s a requiem to the day that the folksy Hollywood era we knew died with the ‘alternative’ random brutality of the Sharon Tate murders. And it’s Tarantino’s wish fulfilment dream of what might have happened instead. What more is there left to say?
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and is release on 14 August 2019 in the UK.