Movie Review: "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood"


Quentin Tarantino’s "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood" visits 1969 Los Angeles, where everything is changing, as 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. The ninth film from the writer-director features a large ensemble cast and multiple story lines in a tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age.

The Good

The acting: Leonardo and Brad deliver in both dramatic and comedic fashion and Margot Robbie presents a surprisingly subtle portrayal of the ill-fated actress Sharon Tate. Two great scenes in the movie include Dakota Fanning playing Lynette "Squeeky" Fromme at the infamous Spahn Ranch and Damian Lewis plays a great, although way too brief portrayal of Steve McQueen.

The music: great 60's soundtrack mixing songs from the era you know and many you might not, if you weren't into the music scene in 1969.

The setting: Hollywood and the surrounding area play a character in the film as well. If you lived, played or worked in the area back in the late 60's or early 70's, this is a great nostalgic trip back in time.

The Bad

If you watch a QT film, you have to accept that the story line will be inconsistent, and that scenes unrelated to the story will appear simply because QT wants to put them there. You also have to accept that even though some real public figures are in the movie, what they do has nothing to do with reality. If you accept this premise willfully, it's not bad.

The gratuitous violence towards the end of the film lacks the (if you can call it that) "humor" of previous QT films. If it's not cartoonish as in the past QT ends up just being gross.

The Recommendation

If you like QT films it is a resounding YES. I would rank it in the top 4 for sure out of the 9 QT films. If you aren't a QT fan, but are fans of DiCaprio or Pitt, I'd say go see it for that as well. If you are a history buff........have you seen a QT film before?

The movie is still playing at The Reading Cinema in Murrieta & The Angelika in Carmel Mountain Ranch.

Dwight Arnold

Dwight Arnold

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