Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Nathan's Movie Review
I can't help but admire Quentin Tarantino. The man has delivered one masterpiece after another, never pandering to the cliche that Hollywood has become. He does the movies he wants to do how he wants to do them and is unapologetic about it. Each one is always wildly different from the others too. He's almost like a whole new director each time. That being said, he has done two films in particular that are similar in one sense: they're "what if" films. In other words, they take true stories and turn them upside down, making a whole new chain of events that could have happened. One of those films is Inglourious Basterds. The other is Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Obviously, from the title Once Upon a Time... you can deduce that this is a fantasy story. Tarantino actually did include things that really happened, but the ultimate payoff is wildly different from the true events. That's okay. This was never meant to be a biography or a true story. It was meant to get us wondering what could have - or even should have - happened.
The film follows Rick Dalton, an actor who believes his career is close to an end. His show was recently cancelled because he wanted to break into films and the film industry spit him back out. All he has to keep him going is his best friend and former stunt double Cliff Booth. The film focuses on Rick and Cliff, but also touches base on Charlie Manson's cult. We only see Charlie himself a couple times, but the cult is literally everywhere. It makes one wonder just how many people were actually involved with him.
The star of the film was Brad Pitt. He not only had some of the funniest lines in the film, but he also had some of the best moments in the film. His chemistry with Leo DiCaprio was perfection and he stole the spotlight in every scene he was in. Leo has a knack for characters who are disturbed or insecure. In this case, Rick Dalton was insecure. One could actually write an entire article on Leo's mannerisms alone in this film, from Rick's off-camera stutter to his self-deprecation, he was an 100% relatable character. Margot Robbie didn't have a huge part, so don't go into the film expecting a lot from her character. On the plus side, if a bio flick is made solely about Sharon, give Margot the role!
In conclusion, this was a terrific film in full-on terrific Tarantino fashion that once again entertained while making us ask the questions no one's asked in 50 years. I give the film a 4 out of 4.
© 2019 Nathan Jasper