Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

An ensemble film to end all ensemble films. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is Quentin Tarantino’s ninth and second-to-last film. This time he gives his unique take on the crumbling remnants of the Golden Age of Hollywood in 1969.

The movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton. A star of TV Westerns whose drinking away what little career he has left. His only friend is his longtime stunt double and confidante Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Whom lives in a trailer parked outside of Van Nuys Drive-In with his Rottweiler named Brandy. Cliff’s problem is that nobody wants to hire him since rumors had started about him killing his wife.

The two spend most of the film driving around Los Angeles, smoking cigarettes in backlots, and having beers at Dalton’s modest ranch on Cielo Drive – which happens to be right next door to the home of Sharon Tate, Roman Polanski, and the inevitable Manson Family Murders. Tarantino eventually gets to this point, but not before some two-hours of maneuvering around the seedy underbelly that is Hollywood showbusiness. 

Even though the actors play a couple of down and out losers, DiCaprio and Pitt are absolute dynamite together. The on-screen chemistry between the two is so on point, you’d think these two had done multiple films together, and the hilarious fight scene that takes place between Cliff and Bruce Lee (Mike Moh) is certainly the comedic high point of the film. Robbie is spot on as Tate, despite her role being, essentially, arm candy. The only thing she wants is to be recognized and loved by the people, but it’s Tarantino’s take on her innocence and the absolute destruction of it in the end which is mindblowing.

Another praiseworthy mention to the film is the soundtrack, which should come as no surprise to Tarrantino fans. From start to finish, each song is perfectly chosen to help lift a scene. It shows how much time, care, and love Tarrantino put into this film.

The one downside to this film is the time length. At nearly three hours long, this is certainly not an Avengers film. The film does get dry in certain parts, but the way everything ties in for the finale is perfect.

In the end, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is everything you expect a Tarrantino film to be, and more.

Daniel Hennessy