Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Location: Bartos Screening Room
Dir. Quentin Tarantino. 2019, 161 mins. 35mm. With Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Emile Hirsch, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Julia Butters, Mike Moh, Al Pacino. The ninth film from Quentin Tarantino revisits Los Angeles at the tail end of the 1960s, when the Hollywood studio system was fading and hippie subversion was ascendant. Enter past-his-prime TV star Rick Dalton (a self-effacing DiCaprio) and his under-employed stunt double Cliff Booth (a never-more-charismatic Pitt), two walking anachronisms wading through the muddy waters of B-moviemaking, spaghetti westerns, hot-shot European auteurs, Bruce Lee and Charles Manson. Informed by a melancholic nostalgia new to Tarantino’s work, Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood ambles along deliciously until a vicious, hyper-violent climax yanks proceedings into darker territories, poignantly resorting to ahistoricism in order to reclaim and redeem a fallen culture.