It’s fair to say you know exactly what ingredients you’ll be sampling whilst watching a film by Quentin Tarantino, and his nostalgic tribute to 1960’s Tinseltown whisks them together into a delicious treat. Lights, Camera, Soundtrack, Action!
Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), an ageing TV cowboy and alcoholic who’s more “has-been” than Steve McQueen, and his long-time stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) sense there might not be any major roles for them in this current era of entertainment. Next door neighbours Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) and her Oscar winning director husband Roman Polanski (Austin Powers) leave them longing for A-list stardom.
This is a fantastic character piece that won’t be for everyone. Don’t go into this expecting a gorefest or true crime documentary. Go into this film expecting to be immersed in the world that these characters live in and be prepared to thoroughly enjoy their interesting lives, the town they lived in, the music they listen to, and the stories they have to tell. Don’t set your expectations too high, and just enjoy the ride.
The three lead actors in this film are incredible. DiCaprio’s outbursts of internal struggles are something be admired, whereas Pitt nonchalantly preparing meals for himself and his dog Brandy provide exquisite joy.
In my opinion, Margot Robbie was born to play Sharon Tate. Despite the lack of spoken words, the innocence of her character really shines through in every scene. Her inclusion puts you on edge, knowing the inevitable events her presence would bring.
Quentin Tarantino loves cinema, there is absolutely no denying that. There is probably no one better suited to making a film such as Once Upon a Time in Hollywood than him, with its sun-soaked framing of Los Angeles and array of colourful characters serving as an ode to the Golden Age of Hollywood. This is the world he grew up in, and continues to devote his life to.
How to make a Hollywood film by Tarantino:
- Leonardo DiCaprio acts ✓
- Brad Pitt drives ✓
- Margot Robbie dances ✓
- Add the Manson Family ✓
- Sprinkle in some humour ✓
- Amazing soundtrack ✓
- Feature some cameos from his usual gang of actors ✓
- Bare feet. Lots of them ✓✓
- Garnish it with over the top violence ✓✓
It’s official, old buddy – this is one of the best films of 2019. There’s too much to take in for one viewing. I immediately wanted to see it again and again.
Rating: 5 out of 5 popcorns