~By Randy Pelish~
Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a nostalgic journey back to the Hollywood of fifty years ago. By his own standards, this is a lovingly recreated fairy tale of a Hollywood that is dead and gone. But it is not an exploration of what is true but rather an explanation of what we wish was true. It is an instant classic. People will be talking about this film for a very long time. At 2 hours 41 minutes, you will require stamina to sit through it.
Once Upon a Time trailer:
I first saw Hollywood in May 1969. The events in the film take place in February and August 1969. I moved to Los Angeles in July 1972 and remained there until 2013. I assure you that Tarantino’s recreation of L.A. is accurate. Kudos to production designer Barbara Ling for her fine work.
Now to the story. It is a quintessential “buddy film” with a washed-up star, Leonardo DiCaprio and his best and probably only friend, his stunt double Brad Pitt. Together they take on a world that has had enough of both of them. They have a congenial master-servant relationship. In the course of the story they are challenged by a changing Hollywood and Charles Manson’s family. How they endure these challenges is at the heart of the tale. The two of them are brilliant. Also stunning is Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate. Special mention must be made of Margaret Qualley as Pussycat, one of Manson’s girls, Al Pacino as an aging producer, Emile Hirsch as Jay Sebring, Mike Moh as Bruce Lee, and Bruce Dern as George Spahn. They all deliver fine performances.
Tarantino continues to be one of our greatest living directors. Enjoy!
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is currently playing in theaters in Reno and Sparks