Tuesday, November 3, 2020

1127. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Directed by Quentin Tarantino 


I am trying to distract myself from my Anxiety: Global Politics Edition, and what better way to do that than to discuss movies made by the man known for crafting excellent escapism films? While the execution isn't always there, his passion for movies is palpable in every scene he directs.

This time around, Tarantino tackles the Manson family murders. In addition to focusing on Sharon Tate's story, the film follows fading actor Rick Dalton and his stunt double, Cliff Booth, as they navigate the new age of Hollywood.

This is actually the last movie I saw in theaters in the before times, when you could go to theaters and then make your date uncomfortable with your rigid rules regarding proper snacks and arrival times.  So I have positive associations with this movie that undoubtedly affect my opinion on it.

Even so, the performances alone are enough to make the movie worth watching. Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio are really great actors, and I never get the sense that they are trying to overpower the movie with their performances. And Margot Robbie is predictably radiant as Tate.

I feel like most movie lovers will be delighted by all the nods and homages to cinema peppered throughout the story. And Tarantino fans will be thrilled by the gruesomeness of the ending. He's begun to parody himself in terms of violence, but at least he chooses a few satisfying victims.

An excellent, absorbing movie, which some of us dearly need right now as we wait...

RATING: *****

Interesting Facts:

Margot Robbie wore Sharon Tate's real jewelry, provided by Tate's sister.

Tarantino's foot fetish is somewhat justified here, as the real Sharon Tate hated to wear shoes.

Roman Polanski was not consulted about the movie.


  1. What I remember most from this movie was that I watched this on the last overseas flight I did before everything shut down. I guess the sentimental memory of better times influence how I look at this movie. I remember at the time not being too impressed, but now it seems it was not too bad.
    Curious that Polanski was not even consulted since he plays such a major role in the movie.

  2. You have 'rigid rules about snacks and arrival times...' (for dates at movies.
    Well, it depends what they are... I mean, if you insist on being there before the film actually starts.. well, fair enough... but 'strict rules..' sounds, excuse me for saying .. a bit ... scary?
    I'm picturing the scene in 'Annie Hall', where she arrives a moment or two late for 'Sorrow and the Pity' (which could be seen as a highly desirable thing..)and he goes into a flap that the whole thing is ruined.. Normally I might be on his side, but for a film that lasts 3 days, and he has seen several times, is.. shall we say, a bit of an over reaction.

    Anyway. Sorry. ... Once upon a time...

    Yep, liked, enjoyed this... As you said.. absorbing. Even the QT gore was kept to a .. reasonable .. level, and just in one bit.

    Normally I'm one of those who gets upset when a film takes something real, know, historical event and portrays it inaccurately (Hey Mel Gibson, yes it is YOU I'm looking at), but someone I can forgive QT...
    I mean, it's so obvious that his films are a fictional , almost parallel universe.
    Even voters in Alaska or Mississippi know Hitler wasn't assassinated in a cinema in .. whenever.. by a group of US irregulars. Don't they? OK, perhaps that is debatable, but you get my point.