Quentin Tarantino’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD visits 1969 Los Angeles, where everything is changing, as TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore. The ninth film from the writer-director features a large ensemble cast and multiple story lines in a tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age.
Only a couple of scenes are excellent like the scene where Rick admonishes himself for drinking and messing up the lines or the scene where he has a conversation with the 8 year old Trudi and then the scene where he gives a performance which Trudi calls the best ever.
Screenplay by Quentin Tarantino is bad. For the first one and a half hours of the movie basically nothing happens. When all you need is one scene to show Rick Dalton as a has been TV Star there are so many extended scenes to show that. There are multiple scenes of Cliff just riding in Rick’s car through the city. There are multiple scenes of Sharon basically walking around Hollywood. If you edit all the unnecessary scenes in the movie it wouldn’t even be a one hour movie.
One gets restless and can’t wait for the real story/action to action to start but then the twist ending isn’t good either. Anyone who has watched Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained can guess the twist ending from a mile. So there is no novelty in the ending.
Although the Bruce Lee sequence is Cliff’s dream/narration it is racist in how it portrays Bruce Lee with his screaming and everything. It is really surprising to see this come from someone who made Kill Bill which had scenes paying homage/tribute to Bruce Lee.
Leonardo DiCaprio is excellent as Rick Dalton. Brad Pitt is ok as Cliff Booth. Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate has nothing much to do except look good, dress up in a skirt and walk around as if she is doing catwalk. Julia Butters is excellent as Trudi Fraser in a small role. Al Pacino is ok as Rick’s casting agent in a small role. Kurt Russell is good in a small role. Mike Moh is good as Bruce Lee. Emile Hirsch is ok as Jay Sebring in a small role. Margaret Qualley looked cute as “Pussycat”. Austin Butler is good as Tex. The rest of the cast was ok.
Quentin Tarantino’s direction is bad and completely self indulgent. The movie has hardly any of his trademark wit or lines except for the few scenes mentioned above. Its like he wanted to make a movie on the Sharon Tate murder but did not have enough substance so he just filled it with fluff. This is his weakest film. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is horrible and one of the worst movies of the year.Tags: Brad Pitt Leonardo DiCaprio Quentin Tarantino