Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019) is the ninth and penultimate film by the acclaimed director Quentin Tarantino before his retirement as a filmmaker. The film tells the adventures of Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), a famous TV actor in the twilight of his career, and his action double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), in the quest to remain relevant in the film industry in the late 60s.
With Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Tarantino takes distance from the genre cinema that identified his career to honor Hollywood’s history, and portray the events that defined the end of the golden age of cinema. The improbable union of Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt as co-stars is an event that could happen only under the direction of Quentin Tarantino. Beyond their great performances, their own status as movie stars in the twilight of their careers as leads and heroes strengthen the thematic approach of the film. Meanwhile, the interpretation of Margot Robbie as actress Sharon Tate is great, but not very crucial for the rest of the story, so her character does not feel equally developed.
The film focuses more on generating hilarious situations than on building a complicated plot, because it’s a character-driven story that advances according to the internal conflicts of its protagonists. The Once Upon a Time in Hollywood script is one of the slowest paced in Tarantino‘s filmography and its almost three hours duration could be a little tedious for some. However, the film maintains the great dialogues and powerful scenes of violence that characterize the director’s work.
Thanks to its admirable production, the film manages to recreate the city of Los Angeles in 1969 through vehicles, neon signs and even radio commercials of the time, making the city a character of its own and placing us in the spaces where Tarantino grew up. As its name indicates, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is the evocation of Tarantino‘s fairy tale and his passion for cinema, resulting in one of his most personal and clean films.