Tarantino’s love letter to 1960s L.A.: a faded television actor and his stunt double strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Quentin Tarantino’s comic thriller Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood is shocking and gripping and infused with the director’s hysterical connoisseurship of pop culture detail. Rick Dalton, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, is a failing cowboy actor. His best friend is Cliff Booth, played by Brad Pitt, who’s also Rick’s stunt double. Things head south for Rick and Cliff’s careers when Rick’s western TV show Bounty Law is cancelled. His agent Marvin Schwarz (an uproarious cameo for Al Pacino) tries persuading Rick to head out to Italy to reinvent himself in these new “spaghetti westerns” they have out there. But in the interim Schwarz gets him a job on a western TV show in America, Lancer, with Sam Wanamaker directing, and Rick has a weird epiphany.
Inexorably the film drifts towards a finale that came to define the end of the sixties – a piece of bloody mayhem which leads to a bizarre denouement which might well have you replaying the entire film in your head. It’s entirely outrageous, disorientating, irresponsible, and also brilliant.
18 September 2019 7:30PM