*There is not a ton of spoilers in the movie but as always
If I were to tell you we were getting a Quentin Tarantino movie starring: Leo Dicaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, Timothy Olyphant, Damian Lewis, and many more, you probably be excited right? Well, we got that and much, much more in this epic Film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. This is Tarantino’s “ninth” film (he says Kill Bill is one movie) and honestly all of them are cinematic treasures.
“Hollywood” is his ode to the city he loves and the industry that shaped his whole life. It is a movie that follows three people over the course of three days in 1969: Actor Rick Dalton (Leo), his stuntman (Pitt), and Actor Sharon Tate (Robbie). We get to kind of just hang out with them in their world and see what life in Hollywood was like in the 60’s. There is also an alternate history conclusion that rivals anything Tarantino has ever put on screen. For some, this movie might move slowly as Tarantino meanders his way through the different scenes, however if you can let yourself fall into his world, the characters and the music take you to another place.
Those last two aspects are what I would like to focus on, music and characters. Those are the two parts of his movies that he seems to focus on the most (besides of course his vaunted dialogue). His plots usually are long, drawn out, or in this case not really there at all. But what we remember are the incredible characters he can create, and how he weaves the perfect music throughout all of his movies. It happens again here where he coaxes Leo and Pitt into two of their greatest performances and creates memorable side characters who show up for 2 or 3 minutes at a time. Also the fact that he just throws 20 minute scenes in whenever he wants about Brad Pitt and Bruce Lee fighting!
These are miraculous achievements and not something many other directors can do. And who cares if his movies are all like 2 hours and 40 minutes, the guy only makes a movie like every 5-7 years, savor the hell out of them!
Stock Up – Leonardo Dicaprio already is the biggest star in the world and is either the best or second best actor in the world with Christian Bale. I cannot believe he has not done a movie since he won his Oscar for The Revenant. How can his stock go higher you ask? Well maybe do an hour long scene where he channels an actor from 60’s westerns dressed like this…
Leo has to play so many different parts in this and nails it every time, in part because he just seems so committed to the bit. He stares down Olyphant, Pitt, and Pacino and basically wins every scene. The guy is a master and I just wish he made more movies these days!
Stock Up – Brad Pitt obviously like Leo is one of the most recognizable names in the game. He just has not done a ton recently so we forget how good he is when he just gets to be a movie star. In this he is basically a mix of his Ocean’s 11 and Inglorious Basterds characters and it completely works. This is easily his best performance since Moneyball and he will be fighting with himself for an Oscar probably once Ad Astra hits later this year.
Stock Neutral – Quentin Tarantino is one of the greatest directors in the history of cinema, and this movie just continues that legacy. Its like in Bill Russell’s 9th out of 13 championships. He cannot really do anymore than just keep winning! Please continue to make movies Quentin, I beg you!
Stock Up – Margot Robbie has been on a rocket ship of fame since her breakout in The Wolf of Wall Street. She seems like she was born to play this part and brings so much joy to this movie. She does a lot of dancing and not a ton of talking, but still makes a hard impact on any viewer for this movie.
*A couple other tidbits
- Timothy Olyphant in cowboy hats over just about anything else in life.
- Kurt Russell as the narrator was chilling.
- Flamethrowers seem awesome, where you at Elon Musk?
What a movie this is! People just do not make these type of movies anymore and it is special that we have someone like Tarantino who is willing to take this risk. This probably will not be for everyone, but it is my favorite movie of the year so far.
*You can find all of my movie ratings here.