• Name: Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood
• Year: 2019
• Country: USA, UK, China
• Director: Quentin Tarantino
• Main cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie
• Runtime: 161 minutes
• Production company: Bona Film Group, Heyday Films, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE)
Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood (2019) is a passionate love letter in the form of a movie from Quentin Tarantino to the world of cinema. Yet another one. In all his works, the movies universe or entertainment itself have been very present in one way to another. He has been showing to the audience what his favorite shows, films, and actors were when he was a kid, growing up feeding on television and video rentals. So sooner or later a movie like this one had to appear.
What we have here is one another masterpiece by the genius director. Another movie where everything has its reason to be. I counted a few references to his own movies but I am sure there are plenty more. Although it is a movie with not a lot of action, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood (2019) is not slow or boring. One has the feeling this movie could be eternal, the official running time is almost 3 hours but it could totally be 5, 10, 50 hours and we all would still be with our eyes glued to the screen. Many different characters appear on the screen, and all of them have a big life on their backs. This is what makes a script to be a good one, when the characters have a history behind besides what is shown on the screen. And Quentin Tarantino masters this aspect of the writing.
Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood (2019) is placed in 1969, and explains the events happening from a few months before the infamous Manson Family murders until the day Sharon Tate was killed, on the night of the 9th of August 1969, one of the hottest summer nights in Hollywood. It mainly tells the story from two sides. On one side there is an actor, aspiring to be a big movies star but not having the best moments of his career, together with his best pal his stunt double. And on the other side we have Sharon Tate, an emerging superstar, married with one of the most important European filmmakers of the moment, Roman Polanski, who just reached the status of a cult director with the great Rosemary’s Baby (1968).
But Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood (2019) is not a biopic, be sure of that. Quentin Tarantino takes real characters and submerges them into his own reality. He shows the good and bad side of them all. He depicts a superficial, racist, glamourous and heavy right-winged Hollywood, but he does it with lots of love, and even respect. He takes no sides, gives out no opinions. Nothing is good or bad, everything has two faces, like real life. And the execution is perfect. And in the technical aspect, the movie is as solid as one could expect. A perfect soundtrack filled with classics, most of them to be recognized by the wide audience but some others are jewels to be discovered. A perfect mixtape from the late 1960s. Cinematography is sublime, with the perfect choice of colors and lights for every scene. A sensational camera work, showing at all times what must be seen. In a technical aspect, everything works.
I must admit, I am weak for Brad Pitt. I knew he is an outstanding actor, with a very wide an extensive record of different characters to play, but this time he is just perfect, the best. Leonardo DiCaprio is very good at playing himself, and here he does it like never has been done before. And many people complained of how Margot Robbie has very few lines as Sharon Tate. Yes, she doesn’t speak much, she is the one of the stars trio to have less screen quote, but when she is there she does what she is supposed to do. Margot Robbie is Sharon Tate, and Sharon Tate is the glamour, the success, the star. In a movie about people who want to be a superstar, you need to see that superstar personified. And Margot Robbie is perfect in that role. She doesn’t need to speak more, she doesn’t need more screen quote, she only needs to exist. And mission accomplished.
It is very complicated to go watch a movie like Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood (2019) without your high expectations. This title has been one of the most awaited ones since it was announced, we all have had a couple of years to make in our mind how Quentin Tarantino should do it. But he had his own version, and that is what we see. It is very complicated to rate something like that. It is perfection in its own. If you like Tarantino I think this movie can only disappoint you if you go see it holding tight to your own conception of what it should be. Please, don’t. Let the story flow on its own. Quentin Tarantino is the most talented filmmaker of his generation, there is no doubt about that, and this movie is a gem. A movie worth to be seen over and over again because it’s timeless. Again a masterpiece. Again an instant classic. Again the most sincere love letter in the form of a movie to the movies universe. Thank you, Q.
IMDB URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt7131622
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