Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is everything great about a Quentin Tarantino film while also being everything awful about it.
Great dialogue and casting? Check.
A ton of actors of substance given one or two scenes at most? Check.
Interesting story set in a time we romanticize and deconstruct at the same time? Check.
About an hour of material that could be cut and no one would know the difference? Check.
Hollywood focuses on an aging movie star (Leonardo Dicaprio) and his stunt man (Brad Pitt) as the star tries to resurrect his flailing career. All the while the Manson Family murders linger as we spend time in the final days of Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie).
It’s a proper hang film; not much happens but we hang out with everyone until the Manson Family murders occur. And since this is a Tarantino film, history be damned of course.
And if this was a two hour film or less then it’d be perfectly good. Its interesting, there’s plenty of great moments and the resolution is clear and succinct. A 105 minute version of this would be an amazing character set in a pseudo-alternate history.
The problem is that there’s about an hour plus worth of material in this film that doesn’t need to be there… but it is and it makes the film drag at an unconscionable pace. Much like Kill Bill, which was a brilliant 105 minute film stretched to four hours, this is a near three hour film that doesn’t need to be it.
The amazing thing about a QT DVD is that the deleted scenes are always worth it. What he cuts is interesting to watch.
Everything else on this is just EPK about the period piece aspect and the nature of getting it right.
Columbia presents Once upon a time in Hollywood. Written and Directed by Quentin Tarantino. Starring Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie. Run Time: 161 minutes. Rated R. Released on DVD: 12.10.19
Tags: brad pitt, leonardo dicaprio, Margot Robbie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino