Rick Dalton is a washed up movie star, once the star of one of TV’s most popular westerns he has resorted to being ‘Villain of the Week’ in various cheesy crime shows. His loyal friend and stunt double Cliff Booth drives him around and does various odd jobs for him whilst at the same time living in his trailer with his awesome dog. Living next door to Rick in the Hollywood Hills is Roman Polanski and his actress wife Sharon Tate, who must of us know what happened there.
Quentin Tarantino’s love letter to 1960’s Hollywood switches from the fictional story of Rick and Cliff to the life of Sharon Tate whose career was tragically cut short by The Manson Family. However lets not get away from ourselves here, its not all about Tate so Tarantino creates a terrific story of a has-been film star struggling with alcohol dependency as well as his happy go lucky best buddy. The attention to detail is phenomenal with wonderful recreations of 60’s life with the usual amazing Tarantino curated soundtrack.
It’s easily Quentin’s best looking film as the photography is breathtaking with special effects recreating 60’s LA cleverly spliced in with newly shot footage with brilliant editing as well. Complementing all that are the two central performances from Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt who both share equal top billing but its Pitt who steals the entire film with a comedic performance which does turns rather dark in the final act. DiCaprio is equally as good as is Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate who has very little dialogue but like the real life person is plays, lights up the screen with her beauty. Packed full of cameos from various stars from the present and past with one I was particularly happy to see. I won’t give it away but Marvel fans should hopefully recognise him as the first actor to play a certain web slinger and a Von Trapp child.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is Quentin Tarantino’s best film in years, his trademark violence is mainly in the final scenes but just as in many of his works you’re probably roar with laughter (like I did with what happened to poor old Ving Rhames in Pulp Fiction) rather than be shocked.
Totally excellent film making of an excellently excellent standard.