Once Upon a Time …in Hollywood

The year is 1969, and, closing out the Golden Age of Hollywood a fading but talented television actor, Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), has his eyes set on making it to the silver screen; with good friend and stunt double, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), along for the ride it would appear the two are running into a torrent of change and trouble despite their best efforts. Meanwhile, Charles Manson (Damon Herriman), and the rest of the Manson family are cooking up a surprise for Rick’s next door neighbors, Roman Polanski and his wife Sharon Tate (Rafal Zawierucha, Margot Robbie). The springs are coiled and the air is ripe with anticipation, there’s no telling how this whole thing will unwind. Written and Directed by Quentin Tarantino this all out love letter to Hollywood makes for a time capsuled smörgÃ¥sbord of revisionist history sparing no expense to recapture countless details of yesteryear. More than ever, the components of what makes Tarantino tick, the major influences of art, film, television, music and so on are on display with microscopic precision; but, lacking this go round, Tarantino’s whip smart and pointed dialogue. This is a film about images, texture, and feel and less about words, which is unfortunate considering that Tarantino’s dialogue has been the mainstay and driving factor in the vast majority of his previous works. And, scattered plot lines that take their time to develop unfortunately seem to run out of gas until the classic catastrophic Tarantino act 3. That’s not to say the film is void of prestige and humor, there are in fact quite a few memorable and chuckle/laugh out loud moments, but with a run time of two hours and 41 minutes, a more judicious razor blade could have been applied to the final cut. The ensemble all round is spot on, and, a series of great exchanges between Pitt and DiCaprio sweeten the pot a bit more. Still, the film falls into the Saturday matinee or rental later category, for nostalgia’s sake. Once Upon a Time …in Hollywood is rated R.