Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood visits 1969 Los Angeles, where everything is changing, as TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore. The ninth film from the writer-director features a large ensemble cast and multiple storylines in a tribute to the final moments of Hollywood's golden age.
During the scene in which George Spahn is struggling to identify Cliff Booth, he mishears his name as John Wilkes Booth. John Wilkes Booth was the man who assassinated president Abraham Lincoln on April 15 1865. The woman who questions Cliff before allowing him to enter, and sitting one room away from this exchange, is infamous Charles Manson acolyte Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme. On September 5 1975, Fromme made an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate President Gerald Ford. Interestingly, Lincoln was assassinated in Ford's Theatre in Washington DC, and Fromme's attempt on Ford was in Capitol Park after he had entered from Lincoln street in Sacramento, California. See more »
The first time we see, and hear, Cliff Booth driving off from Rick Dalton's home, in Cliff's own car, a vintage VW Karmann Ghia, he drives off with the car's engine in high gear. However, the sound we hear seems not to be that of a the typical air-cooled engine VW motor, but more of that of a sports care with a conventional engine. See more »
In October 2019, an extended cut of the film was released in selected theaters with an additional 10 minutes, made up of 4 new scenes which include an extended version of the opening scene, two fake commercials and a new after-credits scene. See more »
The more you appreciate cinema as an art, the more you will like this film
I would like to preface this review by expressing that I didn't particularly love this film as much as I expected to. Like many others, Tarantino is one of my favorite directors. I respect his fundamental consistency and his creative license above all else, and he lets both of those aspects shine through brightly in his 9th undertaking. It was this particular flavor of storytelling that he used this time around that I wasn't fond of. There was nothing difficult to follow about it, but it just didn't want to piece itself together into any coherent arcs. I can certainly appreciate that this was the feel Tarantino was going for, but it was not one I could appreciate during my viewing. With that being said, the story wraps up into a bizarre, unique, and satisfying conclusion that reminded me why I will always be in theaters for this director. What makes Tarantino so great is that he maintains such sound film fundamentals when taking on these strange and creative projects. His actors blew their roles out of the water, his cinematographer enhanced their potent performances further, and his set/costume decorators crafted a world of immersion. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is not a film everyone will love, but it is a film everyone should see.
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