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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Quentin Tarantino’s reported penultimate movie received its theatrical release last weekend to glowing reviews, two months after it was first screened at the Cannes Film Festival.

“Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton, a western TV actor who has become increasingly irrelevant over the years, and Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth, Dalton’s stunt double and driver, set to the backdrop of the Manson Family murders in 1969.

The acting, writing and cinematography are excellent and immerse you into the world of Hollywood in the late ’60s.

However, the movie has pacing problems. For a film with a nearly three-hour runtime, there is not much of a plot.

While watching the film there is a continuous desire for more action. Everything about the production is fantastic, yet it still feels like scenes are taking too long, with too much build-up and not enough progression.

The movie features countless tangents which halt the action of the scene to show viewers short flashbacks and clips of Rick’s extensive videography. Eventually, all of these asides grow tiresome because you want the central plot to move forward. The problem is there isn’t much of a central plot, either.

Instead, you follow different characters with their own unique, interconnected storylines. It is fun to watch this, but there isn’t any big payoff through the plot.

This flaw could be mitigated if there was strong character development, but the story lacks this as well. Almost every character the movie follows stays the same. Rick Dalton begins and ends as a washed-up actor.

However, the chemistry between DiCaprio and Pitt is amazing. Even simple scenes like Rick and Cliff watching Rick’s performance in a new episode of “The FBI” are a joy to watch.

They were able to capture the dynamics of being friends as well as having an employee/employer relationship without feeling cheesy or fake.

Margot Robbie performed fantastically as Sharon Tate, an aspiring actress before becoming a victim of the Manson Family murders. Robbie was able to capture Tate’s magnetic personality through scenes showcasing Sharon’s everyday life in the Hollywood Hills.

While this film may be Tarantino’s great love letter to a special era in Hollywood’s history, a love letter doesn’t always make the most impressive movie.

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Final Rating: 7/10


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