DiCaprio, Pitt shine in ‘Pulp Fiction’ director’s latest venture
“Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” by Quentin Tarantino follows the story of three Hollywood citizens, Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), and Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) over the course of three days in 1969 Hollywood.
From sunshine to blood this film has it all, but be prepared for some dark humor and slowly built up scenes.
Plot Summary (NO spoilers)
The first day this movie settles in on is Saturday, February 8th. The movie begins with Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth meeting with producer Marvin Schwarz (Al Pacino). This is where were learn about Rick Dalton’s downhill acting career.
After a short drive home, the pair sees Dalton’s new neighbors, big name director Roman Polanski (Rafal Zawierucha) and his wife Sharon Tate. Later that night, the couple heads to a party at the Playboy Mansion which concludes the first day.
The second day breaks into three separate stories following each of the main characters. Tate spends her day attending a movie that she’s in after a strange encounter. Early in the morning her house is briefly visited by a Mr. Charles Manson claiming to know the house’s former residents.
Meanwhile, Booth is fixing Dalton’s TV antenna. There he reflects on a previous job where he got into a fight with legendary Bruce Lee.
Soon after, he’s on the road giving a young hippie girl, Pussycat (Margaret Qualley), a ride out to her home at Spahn Ranch. At the ranch, a former western movie set where Booth used to work, he finds himself amongst a community of hippies lead by an absent Manson.
Dalton spends his day playing the one-time antagonist for the pilot of a new western that he won’t be starring in. There he meets young actress, Trudi (Julia Butters), and has an emotional realization.
One bad scene and one temper tantrum later, Dalton comes back out and amazes everyone with his amazing acting.
The movie then jumps six months ahead to the third and final day, August 8th.
Narration explains that in those six months Dalton made four Italian films and got a new Italian wife. He sees this as the end of his career and the end of his time with Booth, so the buddies plan one last night of fun together.
Simultaneously, a now pregnant Tate is spending night with some friends.
After all parties (except for Tate) getting either drunk or high, a rattling old car drives up the private road full of hippies from the Charles Manson community.
Visually, this movie is drop dead gorgeous. The colors and camera shots are some of the best someone can see in a movie.
This paired along with the spot-on costume and set design pulls the audience right into 1969 Hollywood.
The music also adds to this immersion. From Simon and Garfunkel to the Rolling Stones, the music was filled with a setlist worth of sixties hits.
Another spot-on part for this film is the acting. Pitt, DiCaprio and Robbie all nail their characters and truly invest the watcher in their characters’ storylines.
While Robbie wasn’t used as much as she should have been, fans of Pitt and DiCaprio will be very impressed with what they did during “Once Upon a Time”.
The story may be the one place that people may not like about this movie. The film takes a lot of time building up to its ending and has some scenes that don’t necessarily contribute to the story.
While audiences used to flashy and quick movies might be discouraged, others will find the carefully crafted scenes as a nice breather.
Overall, I give this movie a 9/10.