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RE: Once upon a time in Hollywood

We saw it during the theatrical run. We liked it, however we all felt it was about 30min too long, and would have benefited from additional editing. QT was an outsider director for a long time, and had to be creative within a limited budget. OUATIH was produced with a big budget and QT enjoyed spending it. Long scenes of nothing but meticulously recreated c1969 LA. Long tracking scenes of characters in action. And a dose of QT revisionist history.

The acting is excellent. Pitt doing his laconic alpha male persona initially felt rote, but fit the character very well. DiCaprio played a character with 3 dimensions. Depicted as an "actor", a normal person going about his life while on the verge of a mid life crisis, and then having to be an actor, while acting in a movie partly about acting. There were distinct characteristics around each portion of the role. Margarete Qualley- WOW ! There was criticism about Margo Robbie/Sharron Tate but her role was a bit of devilish misdirection. She functioned more as a surrogate for the audience slowly seeing their innocence slip away than an integral part of the story. The conceit was that we were set up for her to have a larger role. Bruce Dern's role was supposed to have been played by Burt Reynolds, but he passed away and Dern was brought it. His scene was short but effective- old Hollywood fading away and supplanted by nihilism feeding off of the decaying corpse. Pacino was good, but his character could have been played by any number of equally good actors....Dustin Hoffman, Andy Garcia and so on.

In a macro sense this movie also embraced what many LA/Hollywood Nostalgia movies seem to thrive on. It you stop for a moment, you can see the uncredited, non compensated, silent participant that is integral to creating the right vibe. No, it isn't random celebrities, kitschy or camp landmarks, or even historical events. No it is right there out in the open and all around. The Sun. Everything in this movie is touched by it, even the scenes set at night. Everything has a saturated sun drenched look and color palette. Everyone is tan. Everyone looks like they are going to or coming from a beach party. Everyone has a pool. Much is made of the temperature at night (a voice over during a critical part notes it was the hottest night of the year), and the haze etc during the day. Everyone squints when outside. QT gets that.

Is this his best movie. No. Is it his worst. NO ! Probably above average, but it will be remembered.

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  • RE: Once upon a time in Hollywood - Ross 15:43:03 04/14/20 (0)


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