A faded television actor and his stunt double strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood's Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles.
QT Still Knows How To Bring It
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has everything you would want in a Tarantino film. Top tier acting, a sharp script and a warp back to the late 60's in typical QT detail. The opportunity to be go back to this era and visit the Manson Ranch was one of the big moments for me of the film. It was creepy and fun, and could very well have played a larger part in the movie. It's not my favorite Tarantino movie, but it proves to me, once again, he makes fine film and still has not made a bad one to this day.
Review from the comment
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is simultaneously vintage Tarantino and remixed. Like many QT projects, there are multiple storylines coming to life on the screen: there is the main one about Rick Dalton (DiCaprio), a fading 60's Hollywood Western star whose shattered self esteem is only kept flickering by his best friend/ gopher/ stunt man Cliff Booth (Pitt); Booth's own arc surrounding his encounter with Charles Manson's acolytes after giving one of them a ride to their ranch; and a glimpse at the approach to stardom of Sharon Tate (Robbie) as she escalates through the levels of Hollywood power tiers at a turning point in her career.
But there is one more storyline here under the surface and that is of Tarantino's love letter to that lost era of Hollywood. There is not much of the witty dialogue we have come to expect from the master auteur to support this vision, the devil is in the long real time shots of avenues and skylines recreated in beautiful form. This nod is prevalent through the entire two and a half hours, but it takes up most of the first third with not much else, which I unfortunately grew weary of.
However, once Once gets past this lovefest and starts getting some story behind these admittedly gorgeous shots, its where the movie hits the red carpet running. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood retells the Tate murders in the same way Inglorious Bastards retells Hitler's demise, in that those landmark pieces of time in real life history are merely end points of a much more involved journey of Tarantino's creation. That journey is bolstered as usual by top notch performances by all involved, Hollywood showing again how much of a love of their own they have for the iconic director. Every player involved is on their A-game here.