QT is worshipped in the Romary household so my opinions will be objectively biased to a degree, but as I always do… I see both sides to all his films. It is not out of the question for my brain to imagine why some people may leave a QT experience asking themselves, “What the fuck did I just watch?” He is a true artist so his work may not be worshipped by all, but it should be appreciated. It is unique, beautiful, violent, dialogue-based, genre-less film that pushes the boundaries on the human thought process and perception of character. They are about revenge, history, love, redemption, and above all, chaos. All 9 of his films thus far, have displayed the true art of chaos. Life is chaos and Quentin knows how to harness that into his creativity and his writing process.
It is about situational human interaction and bringing his eccentric characters together to a final climax that wraps up everyones stories in a highly impressive fashion. He plays with reality and makes it his own. He then displays that in his own uniquely beautiful shooting style. If you are a fan of art, film or anything creative, Quentin’s shot selection is top tier and as good as it gets. Like none other, he brings the most out of his actors on set and in writing, as each character is written with such love and attention to detail. Clearly there is a reason, the best actors and actresses continue to want to be involved in anything he has his hand in.
Once Upon A Time in Hollywood has been growing on me every minute since I have left the theater. Usually being the case when I leave a Quentin film. Some of the criticisms I have heard regarded the length of the film, or the length of certain scenes. Specifically, the 3-5 sequences in which Cliff Booth casually rides the Caddy through Hollywood, blasting classic tunes but with no meaningful purpose. For me, it just further added to the 70’s nostalgia that was apparent in every single shot/scene. When it comes to beauty shots and sequences with little to no substance, sometimes it doesn’t need to be analyzed but rather enjoyed or to serve as a breath in between scenes. And when you have a 70’s Hollywood set at your disposal, squeeze every ounce of beauty out of it that you can.
The characters were some of QT’s best to date and the dialogue between Brad Pitt and Leo were just so damn good. Pitt stole the show, as the trailer living, wife murdering, ass kicking, shit talking stunt man with a loving beast of a dog. For some reason, the way Brad Pitt played this character had me in tears. His lackadaisical attitude in each scene gave it the comedic relief that QT is known for. The buddy buddy relationship with these two though, was perfectly done and they both deserve awards for the performances.
And what can you say about Margot Robbie… I understand there were some calls for more screen time, but she was playing a supporting role in a buddy film. She did not sign on to be the main character rather a smaller role that happens to be polarizing and rich with controversial history. She killed every scene she appeared in and nailed the Sharon Tate voice and look. It doesn’t hurt that she may be the most desired woman on planet Earth and is an incredible actress.
It was the chaotic ending that did it for me. The build up and character arcs that happen throughout are masterful but it is the final act that got me. Through all the chaos, Quentin still finds a way to make you laugh your ass off as the characters that you have been following find themselves in a shit show of a situation. Clearly the Manson Family was a center point to this world Quentin was creating but it truly did not overwhelm the screen time and served as a small side story up until the climax. As Cliff fumbles his way to fighting/killing a few Mason Family members while tripping on acid was horrific, hilarious and entertaining all at the same time. The last interaction with Jay Sebring and Rick Dalton after he finished the family member off with the flame thrower in the pool was gold. It all comes back to the dialogue and the way QT writes these scenes. He gives his actors the foundation for some historic performances. Sure Brad Pitt and Leo made these characters sing, but it was the writing that truly made this film one of his best.
This was a very simple film at a base level but brought together some iconic characters and delivered as a true Quentin Tarantino classic. He is the only man that can write a story about nothing, but also about everything. His themes are unique, his shooting style is legendary and his character writing is the best of all time. Go watch Once Upon A Time in Hollywood and tell me what you hated about it… Or how much you agree with me. I give it a 5 out of 5 because I can do what I want.
Thanks for reading and be nice to each other.