At the end of Inglorious Basterds, after Brad Pitt has carved a swastika on a Nazi’s forehead, he says, “I believe I’ve made my masterpiece.”
Quentin Tarantino has done just that, as Once Upon a Time..In Hollywood is a masterpiece. Finally, a film about the 60s that recognizes not that it was a great transitional time filled with wonder and free love, but one of darkness. People like to look over the fact that people died or were raped at woodstock. Tarantino remembers.
And he does so with such grace and humour, it’s almost enough to make you nostalgic for awful.
We focus on Brad Pitt, mostly, whose Cliff Booth is a stunt double for Leonardo DiCaprio’s Rick Dalton. Dalton starred in a 50’s western reminiscent of Bonanza, but his star is fading fast, as the new, young generation prefers the likes of his next door neighbour, Roman Polanski. He’s bitter, but he doesn’t show it. DiCaprio, an actor that started out in childhood, couldn’t be more perfectly cast. He is certainly exorcising some demons, as you see when a young girl reads from a script she’s practicing on set and he flat out breaks down. You see it in his face as tears fall from his eyes.
Pitt is flat out incredible. Were I gay, I would have sex with Brad Pitt. There. I said it. It’s very hard to review a film I found little to no flaws with.
All the while, Margot Robbie is Polanski’s wife Sharon Tate. This is the kind of film that’s fine with Robbie watching Sharon Tate onscreen. Tarantino, as it has well been documented, has no respect for history. The third act twist, when one expects a severity of bleak, turns into one of the funniest, most entertaining moments of the decade thus far.
To write more would just spoil the experience.
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