Quentin Tarantino has done it again with his 9th film titled "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" (2019). I must say that this has been a great weekend in film because, I truly enjoyed this work. What I really love about Tarantino's films is that you can tell, based on the level of attention to detail, that this is a man that loves film! He is also a master of observing what makes movies so magical and brings this to life in his own work. We are given a lot of details in the consumer products and commercials along with the many subtleties that made the entertainment industry what it was back then.
The beauty of "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" (2019) is that we are given a very fun, fictional account of what it could've been like in the 1960's as former A-List actor that is now facing the twilight of his career. Ricky Dalton, played masterfully by Leonardo DiCaprio, is looking at the end of a very successful era for him and his stuntman Cliff Booth, played by the reliable veteran Brad Pitt. Ricky was the leading man for a popular Television show called "Bounty Law". I just want to say right off that Pitt and DiCaprio were cast just perfectly; their real-life ages, the look...everything just works! The film really focuses on their life as it is slowing down. They also discover that Roman Polanski (Rafal Zawierucha) and his young bride, Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) just bought a home next door. This makes for a significantly interesting backdrop to the film that I will not spoil.
Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" (2019)
This film comes very close to the days of "Pulp Fiction" (1994), Tarantino is just a genius here with the writing and directing. The loyalty and comradery between Pitt and DiCaprio coupled with their highs and lows in and around Hollywood are all conveyed quite neatly in this 2 Hour and 39 minute journey! Tarantino is truly master of pacing and character development. He really takes his time with each character so we get a true sense of their purpose in the story.
In my opinion, the real rock star here is veteran Brad Pitt. Pitt's character, Cliff Booth is very human and accepting of his place in life. Pitt handles the role with style and grace as he does with many of his other films. Hat's off to a solid performance from Mr. Pitt.
There has been much talk lately about Tarantino's affinity for violence towards women. I have come to notice this in recent times as I look back over all of his projects. I have read articles regarding physical contact with actresses on set to give more authenticity to their performance. There have been many scenes in past project that do confirm this claim of gratuitous violence that seems to be aimed heavily at women. I find it very concerning. I do not subscribe to violence towards women in any way shape or form. I do not find it entertaining at all. While I love his work and love that he is a fan of film, I am not happy about this aspect of his work.
"Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" (2019) was a fun escape to the past with great acting, cinematography, scoring, costume design, set design, writing and directing. I say go see it and have a great time. DiCaprio, Pitt and Robbie deliver in grand style.
"Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" (2019) was released on Friday July 26th. Please check your local listings for times and locations.