Movie of the Week 34
Unfortunately this week's movie is not streamable, but is available at your local theater.
Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood 2019 drama, comedy
I’m not a big fan of Tarantino and have skipped most of his recent flicks. But I really enjoyed this new QT film. Set in Hollywood in 1969, there’s a lot going on in this film: it is by turns a buddy film; a fun look behind the Hollywood curtains to see movie-makers in action; a love letter to the 1960’s especially the cars and music; a man struggling with his mid-life crisis, a culture clash with the very dark side of the rebellious youth (hippies), the perfect amount of comic relief; and overall there is intense attention to detail and historical accuracy (except the ending. No. Spoilers). The lead characters Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a B-movie actor while Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) is a stuntman. Rick and Cliff have the best screen chemistry I have seen in many years. The two characters are interesting, honest and likable. I will not rehash the storytelling – go see it for yourself on the big screen. But I will mention a few of my favorite scenes: Rick (badly hungover) in wardrobe being told about his outlandish cowboy costume (1869 meets 1969!); Rick being schooled about acting by an 8 year old girl; Cliff’s sparring match with Bruce Lee; all the TV show clips; Sharon Tate dancing the night away at the Playboy Mansion, Cliff’s visit to the creepy, sinister Spahn Ranch (hangout for the Manson gang); the flame thrower; and finally Cliff’s dog (a big pit bull) attacking drug-crazed hippies.
I highly recommend this film, simply as well-crafted grown-up entertainment that does not go out of its way to insult the intelligence, race, or moral sensibilities of its overwhelmingly white audience.
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Written by Ben Clark. Copyright 2016-2023. All rights reserved.