Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood

The ninth film from Quentin Tarantino

The sort of high-wire, playfully enjoyable riff on movies that only Quentin Tarantino could get away with, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is a massively fun shaggy-dog story set in 1969 that blends fact and fiction, inserting made-up characters at the heart of real, horrible events (Charles Manson horrible) and then daring history to do its worst. Sitting at the mature, Jackie Brown end of Tarantino’s work, the film is also a love letter to Los Angeles and the film industry, bringing his tongue-in-cheek storytelling together with exquisite craft and killer lead performances from Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Poster for the Quentin Tarantino hit movie Once Upon A Time... In HollywoodThe co-leads are excellent together, conversational and sparky; it’s hard not to be reminded of John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction. The Manson murders are often held up as the end of one era and the beginning of another, and these two old-school, Sergio Leone–esque survivors (that title is no accident) are designed to lead us across the threshold into another time, uncertain of it though they may be. Tarantino has the future whispering in our ear.

The mood of the film is gleefully all over the place – just like the two main characters cruising through their lost L.A. – yet totally together and meaningful. In a style that’s all his own, Tarantino evokes a time of seismic change, leaving us to sift out the cultural wreckage, as dangerous as that feels.

– Dave Calhoun, Time Out

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