Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Movie Review

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Movie Review
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Dylan J. Mayberry

Dylan J. Mayberry

Dylan J. Mayberry is an aspiring actor and has a strong passion for film. He was born in Brampton Ontario and has recently moved to Oakville. He is a graduate of Acting for Film & Television from Niagara college.

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With a director of such a caliber as Quentin Tarantino, his respective films have a lot to live up to. With his supposed penultimate film before retirement, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, I’m happy to say that he maintains his high standard of quality, if you get it.

For someone who has classics like Django Unchained, Inglorious Bastards, or the phenomenal Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill Volumes I & II under his belt, it’s no surprise this ninth film would be stellar. The only issue lies with its story and the viewers’ expectations.

Django Unchained this is not. Nor is it Kill Bill. In fact, it is closer to the likes of Pulp Fiction in terms its direction and storytelling. The film isn’t openly clear about what it’s about and that’s one of its biggest strengths and its biggest weakness.

Photo: Columbia Pictures

The story follows three days in the life of Hollywood star Rick Dalton, and his best friend/ chauffer/ housekeeper/ former stuntman Cliff Booth, as they try to deal with their declining success and fading image.

This film succeeds on so many levels. Probably the best aspect would be the incredible acting. Leonardo DiCaprio as always plays Rick with authenticity like you would expect. Brad Pitt shines in the movie as the infinitely interesting Cliff. Even supporting characters like Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate, while not being pivotal to the plot or anything are still portrayed with immense depth and charm.

The film also looks gorgeous. Accompanying the wonderful camera work is an attention to detail that genuinely feels like the late 60s. This film could have been pulled right out of that era and no one would know better.

It’s also funny, very funny. That staple Tarantino dialogue works wonders in the film to make for some great comedic pieces. The characters are so believable while maintaining their comedic edge and it is such a delight to behold.

The biggest downfall of the film for most is going to be with the plot. Or lack there of, depending on your perspective. The film is very clearly of slice of life story, and sometimes life doesn’t follow the typical structure of your average Hollywood blockbuster.

So it may be confusing for some to really understand what the point of the movie is.

Fans of Tarantino’s previous works or even early 60s to 70s cinemas will love Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The classic Tarantino stamp of quality is throughout and the attention to detail is staggering. Though if you aren’t a fan of either, this won’t necessarily change your opinion.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a fantastic tale told a little too specifically.


Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

9 out of 10.

2 hr 45 mins. Comedy Drama Thriller.

Directed by Quentin Tarantino

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, and Dakota Fanning.

Now Playing at Film.ca Cinemas, Cineplex Winston Churchill, and Cineplex Oakville & VIP.



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