Movie Review: Once Upon a Time In Hollywood




DATE: JULY 26, 2019


Quentin Tarantino has yet to disappoint with his long list of cult films in his filmography. Tarantino has maintained a successful career as a director ever since his directorial debut with his 1992 film, Reservoir Dogs. After the success of his first film, he has received a cult following over the years for his most notable films such as Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, and Django Unchained. Now Tarantino is back with his 9th directed film and soon to be cult classic, Once Upon a Time In Hollywood.

Once Upon a Time In Hollywood begins in the 1960s, which is known to be the Golden Age of Hollywood. The opening scene shows actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his best friend Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) in a restaurant for a scheduled business meeting with film producer, Marvin Shwarz (Al Pacino). Since Dalton gained his fame and fortune by starring in a 1950’s television Western, he sought to get a leading role in an upcoming film produced by Shwarz. However, Shwarz turned him down due to Dalton being a typecast actor and recommended he should do Italian Westerns instead. Rick was saddened by the remark and wasn’t a fan of Italian Westerns, but he didn’t have a choice since he was struggling to keep his career in Hollywood.

After the meeting ended, Rick and Cliff drove back to their separate homes. Unlike Rick, who lives in a big luxurious house with a fancy car, Cliff lives in an old mobile home with a rundown car. Cliff is Rick’s personal stunt double in all of his film and television shows, but ever since he was accused of murdering his wife, he has struggled to get hired as Rick’s stunt double. Now Cliff supports himself by doing various odd jobs for Rick just to maintain a living.

Meanwhile, rising actress Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) had just moved in next door to Rick with her well known fiancé, director Roman Polanski (Rafal Zawierucha). At the time, Sharon is having the time of her life in her career. She has gained leading movie role opportunities, going to big parties at the Playboy Mansion, and expecting her first child. All seems well, until one day she receives an unwelcomed guest at her home by a man named Charles Manson (Damon Herriman). While Rick, Cliff, and Sharon have completely separate lives, their lives will be forever changed as they cross paths by the wicked Manson Family.

Once Upon a Time In Hollywood is a spectacular film and one of Tarantino’s best in recent years. The film manages to balance becoming a semi-biopic for the late Sharon Tate, while also becoming its own story with fictional characters. The cast did a phenomenal job carrying every scene. The cinematography alone is worth the full price of admission. The film is a true love letter to the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Once Upon a Time In Hollywood receives 9 stars out of 10 stars.