Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood is Quentin Tarantino’s ninth movie, and it has a total of 10 Oscar nominations. The Academy Award nominations are Best Picture, Best Actor for Leonardo DiCaprio, Best Supporting Actor for Brad Pitt, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing, Best Costume Design, Best Sound Editing, and Best Production Design.
I’m not a fan of Tarantino, so I wasn’t very excited to watch this movie. There must be a glitch in The Matrix because I ended up really liking it. It’s an ode to old Hollywood (which used to be known as the Golden Age of Cinema!). It’s obvious the film was made with a lot of attention to detail. For that, I applaud it.
The actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stuntman Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) are both people who work and have worked in the film industry for a long time. Both are losing their A-list status after the end of Rick’s hit show Bounty Law. Booth has essentially been demoted to being Dalton’s driver, as the man can’t drive because of several DUIs. They’re now struggling to accept that they’re becoming relics as a new age of Hollywood begins. Whilst they fall down the ranks of Hollywood’s elite, young actress Sharon Tate, Rick Booth’s neighbor, is beginning to rise.
The movie is two hours and forty-nine minutes long. It’s hefty run time, but it’s still shorter than The Irishman. I initially thought that I would want to fast forward through some scenes, but I really didn’t, I was actually invested in the characters and I wanted to see how their lives unfolded. I really enjoyed the scenes where it was only the characters reacting to the movies that they were watching, and while that might seem boring for some people, it was very fascinating to me. In contrast with the rest of Tarantino’s filmography, it’s probably his weakest one, it’s still worth seeing if you’re a fan of his.
It wouldn’t be a Tarantino movie without some controversy—and feet, so many feet. The big controversy that followed this movie related to Margot Robbie’s character, Sharon Tate. Sharon Tate was a real-life actress who was murdered by Charles Manson’s cult in 1959 while pregnant. Tarantino previously stated that he included Sharon Tate in the film because he wanted to give justice to Sharon Tate. People were disappointed to see that in the entire runtime, she has very limited screen time and even fewer lines. Tarantino also stated: “[Sharon Tate] is an angelic presence throughout the movie, she’s an angelic ghost on earth, to some degree, she’s not in the movie, she’s in our hearts” That’s why she was portrayed as such, but people still weren’t happy and thought it was an insult to Tate’s memory.
There was also controversy surrounding the ending. But, if you’ve seen his previous works, and then watch this one, you’ll know that the ending is very Tarantino and that’s how he does it. Again, I’m not a fan of his and it hurts to be saying positive things about his work, but the ending is his style and it fits the story well.
If there’s one award I would give it, it would be Best Production Design: the way Old Hollywood was created and the feel of it was spectacular. The acting was great, as expected from such a talented cast and Brad Pitt is definitely winning the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood is one of the frontrunners for Best Picture, and I honestly don’t want it to win, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it did.
Now, watch the trailer, watch the film and make your own opinion!