Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019) – Review

It’s the summer of 1969 in Los Angeles, California, and a fading television star named Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), tries his hand at gaining success in the movie business, along with his long-time friend and stunt double, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). The pair begin to slog their way through an industry that is quickly becoming alien to them, while later becoming unwittingly entangled in the infamous Charles Manson family saga in the process. In a year of top tier releases, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood may be the best of the bunch.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writers: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Emile Hirsch

The term masterpiece is sometimes overused in moviemaking terms, but I’d certainly argue that Quentin Tarantino’s, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, released in 2019, has every right to be labelled just that. An outstandingly solid cast, complimented greatly by an equally as compelling alternate history storyline, basking in the picturesque setting of Los Angeles, 1969, at the height of the summer season. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood even managed to garner two separate Oscar award wins (Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role and Best Achievement in Production Design), having found itself nominated for a staggering ten in total.

The costume and set design were both almost perfect, as was the production level on a whole, and it’s safe to say that no stone was left unturned when it came to the attention to detail on display from the first minute until the last. As previously touched upon, Los Angeles was used as the main setting throughout the film, with some strikingly attractive and bright cinematography, along with a very effectively and fitting soundtrack too.

Some critics have argued that certain scenes were excessive in length, which could be justified, especially when seeing and experiencing the mammoth one-hundred and sixty-one minute runtime, but a film of this nature, with so many fascinating layers and subplots, needed and most certainly deserved, every minute and possibly even more. At no point could the flick be deemed stale or uninteresting at any level.

In terms of the already touched upon, solid cast, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt starred as the two lead men, Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth – a wholesome relationship that blossomed throughout the runtime. Support was vast and provided primarily by Margot Robbie, Emile Hirsch, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant and Dakota Fanning, while there were even smaller, less substantial roles for well-known figures such as Al Pacino, Bruce Dern, Damian Lewis and Mike Moh, who controversially portrayed Bruce Lee.

All in all, this nicely paced nostalgic picture, which blended truth and fiction particularly well, is a flick in which you could watch over and over again, and still come out noticing something fresh and exciting from the viewing. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood comes highly recommended and is one of the few five-star rated movies on the website.

“Don’t cry in front of the Mexicans.”

Cliff Booth – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

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