Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood (2019)
July 8, 2019 5:11 PM - Subscribe

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 in 1969 Los Angeles.

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood visits 1969 Los Angeles, where everything is changing, as TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore. The ninth film from the writer-director features a large ensemble cast and multiple storylines in a tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age (Margot Robbie, Emile Hirsch, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Austin Butler, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern, Luke Perry and Al Pacino).

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on May 21, 2019, and is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on July 26, 2019 and on August 14, 2019 in the United Kingdom.

Synopsis:
In 1969 Los Angeles, actor Rick Dalton, the former star of the Western television series Bounty Law, finds his career faltering due to ongoing alcoholism issues. Dalton dwindles into a drawling functional binge alongside Cliff Booth, his best friend and stunt double, lamenting that his career is over. By contrast, Booth, a Vietnam War veteran who lives in a derelict trailer next to a drive-in in Van Nuys, seems happy and satisfied. Booth is rumored to have murdered his wife and gotten away with it.

Booth participates in a fists-meets-martial-arts duel on the set of The Green Hornet with Bruce Lee and wins. Later, Dalton, playing a black-hatted villain on a new series called Lancer, gets into a philosophical chat about acting with his 8-year-old costar, a budding feminist and method actress.

Meanwhile, Sharon Tate and her husband, Roman Polanski, have rented their new home next to Dalton's at 10050 Cielo Drive. At a party at the Playboy Mansion, fellow actor Steve McQueen fills in Dalton on the backstory of Tate, Polanski, and their friend Jay Sebring, a hairdresser who is in love with Tate and, according to McQueen, is hanging around to bide his time and wait for Polanski to sabotage his marriage.

After his performance in Lancer receives positive reviews, casting agent Marvin Schwartz offers Dalton the opportunity to shoot a Spaghetti Western in Rome. The prospect fills Dalton with despair; he thinks Spaghetti Westerns are the bottom rung of the entertainment totem pole. Dalton takes Booth to the six month shoot in Rome, making several films while eventually marrying an Italian crew member, Francesca Cappucci.

Back in Los Angeles, while escorting a flirtatious girl named Pussycat to the Spahn Movie Ranch, Booth learns she is a member of the Manson Family led by cult leader Charles Manson. Suspiciously, Booth and Dalton arrive at the ranch where they walk into a murder plot as the Manson Family have kidnapped Tate, Sebring, Abigail Folger, Voytek Frykowsi, and several other hostages, intending to kill them. Bruce Lee arrives onto the scene unannounced, ready to fight, saying he had been observing the family for days and suspected them of possible violence. Together, Dalton, Booth and Lee brutally defeat the Family in a shoot-out/kung-fu showdown. Manson arrives to briefly check in on the family, stunned that his murder plot was thwarted, but is killed by Booth before he has a chance to react to the change of events. Tate and the others are saved, but Booth dies from fatal injuries sustained in the fight. Despite his career having not amounted to his ambition, Dalton acknowledges that it is the end of the 1960s, and the Hollywood spirit will live on.
posted by I_Love_Bananas (53 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Holy spoilers Batman!
posted by Sphinx at 12:46 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


It's Fanfare! Spoilers are more than ok :)
posted by Carillon at 1:35 PM on July 9 [4 favorites]


I haven't seen it yet, but the trailers had me feeling very uneasy about seeing it without spoiling it first. That is to say, I didn't want to see it unspoiled. I wanted to know if he was actually going to fictionalize the Manson murders. I'm really uncomfortable with this premise, and with Tarantino revising history this way. It was weird that he did that with World War 2, and I feel like this is even weirder, but maybe it's a super-awesome genius move. I don't know. I'll see the movie but I'm skeptical.
posted by wabbittwax at 4:40 PM on July 9 [7 favorites]


Now just when was the first McDonald's built in Paris? Will there be a 'Royale with cheese' joke?
posted by sammyo at 7:16 PM on July 9


I was surprised to see this pop up a few weeks before the movie gets wide release. Why so early?
posted by jzb at 6:30 AM on July 10


I thought spoilers were not "more than ok", and referring to the Fanfare Faq, it specifically says to not spoil future episodes, which I believe that since this movie hasn't been seen outside of Cannes could and should apply.

But that's just me. However, I'm a little disinclined to actually view the movie when the entire fucking plot has been revealed here.
posted by Sphinx at 10:45 AM on July 10 [4 favorites]


I, for one, am really not surprised by the ending. After his Inglorious Basterds; I was kinda expecting this ending anyway, when I heard he was incorporating the Manson family in the movie.

I am going to watch the movie more for the dialogue, cinematography, production design aspects of it. His story telling has always been a framework for him to do his fanboy pastiche/homage to the genres he likes anyway. I still think the set pieces in Inglorious Basterds, especially the Farm Scene in the beginning and the Pub Scene in the middle; can almost be turned into one act plays.
posted by indianbadger1 at 11:02 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]


Don't click the link on fanfare then? There was just a meta on this as well.
posted by Carillon at 12:29 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


I believe the "below the fold" synopsis should simply have been

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 in 1969 Los Angeles.

Isn't that the convention?
posted by Clustercuss at 4:21 PM on July 11


Ah and I see now that was the above-the-fold on the post. I clicked in from the new-look Fanfare which lists titles only
posted by Clustercuss at 4:24 PM on July 11


I'm a little disinclined to actually view the movie when the entire fucking plot has been revealed here.

Does it count if a large portion of the entire fucking plot is not what happens in the movie? I have seen it, and what the OP puts up there is really not the movie I saw (after the first few lines). I dunno if I_Love_Bananas saw a very early cut or if this is a weird metacommentary on spoilers or what, but I found it pretty solid mid-range Tarantino. Neither his best nor his worst.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:56 PM on July 27 [4 favorites]


Hated it. Boring and pointless.
posted by hoodrich at 7:05 PM on July 27 [2 favorites]


Nothing more Metafilter than an argument about spoilers that seem to be an alternate plot having nothing to do with the actual movie.

I enjoyed the technical aspects of the movie, but tend to agree with Richard Brody: Review: Quentin Tarantino’s Obscenely Regressive Vision of the Sixties in “Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood” more than the fanpeople at places like the ringer.

Typical Tarantino is the goofiness about the ellipses.
posted by TheShadowKnows at 11:14 AM on July 28 [2 favorites]


Loved it.

But Cliff does NOT die. He’s taken to the hospital and tells Rick to come visit him tomorrow.
posted by The Deej at 7:33 PM on July 28 [1 favorite]


Damian Lewis was perfect as Steve McQueen.
posted by whuppy at 7:24 AM on July 29 [3 favorites]


Yeah...There's a lot of stuff in that plot summary that isn't what happened in the release from this weekend. And I can't find anything about alternate cut(s) floating around...What happened up there with that plot summary?
posted by doctornecessiter at 7:53 AM on July 29 [6 favorites]


Other highlights:

Timothy Olyphant playing against type and disappearing into the role.
Cruising in the Coupe de Ville and MG TD.
Whipping around the Hollywood Hills in the Karmann Ghia.
Kurt Russell and Zoe Bell as husband and wife stunt coordinators.
Note-perfect recreations of 50s/60s TV and movies, which I'll bet is a big part of why he made this movie.
The 8 year old Method actress, er sorry, *actor*.
And her stunt double!
Cliff's doggie, Brandy.
The bromance between Cliff and Rick. ("More than a brother and less than a wife.")
Feet (if that's your thing.)
Al Pacino's best role in years.
Margot Robbie lighting up the screen as Sharon Tate.

TL;DR: OG Tarantino fan in the tank for full-spectrum Tarantino.
posted by whuppy at 8:52 AM on July 29 [7 favorites]


Wow, I skipped right past the details of the fight-that-never-happened until doctornecessiter pointed out the issues with the summary.

Oh well. That sounds like a good movie too. I’ll have to check it out.
posted by The Deej at 3:00 PM on July 29


This wasn't for me at all.
posted by hijinx at 5:40 AM on July 30 [2 favorites]


There were a ton of things I liked about this movie. I loved the Pan Am 747. I loved the cars (even though the Karmen Ghia sounded totally wrong but ok!). I loved all of the location shots in period dress. There are some tremendous performances. The scene of DiCaprio interacting with the child actor in “Lancer” are excellent. The Bruce Lee character was fun.

On the other hand, what was the point of any of it? It was sooo long. It had scenes of brutal violence. It had totally gratuitous racial slurs. Previous Tarantino films have had violence and racism, but they were relevant to the story. I don’t know what purpose they serve here. It perhaps shows that the DiCaprio character is a boor and out-of-time. For me, it was distracting and ineffective. Could you really use that anti-Mexican slur on TV in the 1960s?

I don’t understand how to take the ending. The Manson child made a speech in the car about killing those who taught them to murder. Is that supposed to be ironic? Or … not ironic?

Also all the fucking feet. Dial it back!

I’m also a little bit puzzled about why I want it to have a point. “Pulp Fiction” is similarly meandering, and I’m not sure it really has a point either, but I never find myself asking what it’s for. “Once Upon a Time” for some reason provokes a different response and I don’t know why.
posted by chrchr at 9:59 AM on July 30 [3 favorites]


So, I watched the movie and was dreading the slow lead up to what I expected would be an over-shot gore-filled butchering of a pregnant woman. But then of course Tarantino Inglourious Basterds‘s it, and I thought
”So is this what Quentin Tarantino does now?
Makes “what if” historical-fiction movies peppered with foot fetish shots, and capped with “Rah Rah!” Fan-Service violent/gory denouement’s?”
I really hope that the women who had to expose their feet weren’t in any way harassed/touched/creeped over by Tarantino during/between those shots.

Also, there’s a shot of Cliff weaving in and out traffic in either that big Coupe DeVille or the little Karmann Ghia and—while I’m sure it was CGI’ed all to heck—it sure made me think of how Taratino pushed Uma Thurman to do an unsafe shot that caused her to get hurt.

All that said, I’d much rather watch ...in Hollywood again than The Hateful Eight ever again.
posted by blueberry at 9:52 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


Q needs someone to edit down his screenplays and movies. By the time the climax was approaching I had to go get more water for my dog. Tributes to his favorite movies have now extended to his own movies with the Nazi scene.
posted by larrybob at 7:40 AM on July 31


Back in Los Angeles, while escorting a flirtatious girl named Pussycat to the Spahn Movie Ranch, Booth learns she is a member of the Manson Family led by cult leader Charles Manson. Suspiciously, Booth and Dalton arrive at the ranch where they walk into a murder plot as the Manson Family have kidnapped Tate, Sebring, Abigail Folger, Voytek Frykowsi, and several other hostages, intending to kill them. Bruce Lee arrives onto the scene unannounced, ready to fight, saying he had been observing the family for days and suspected them of possible violence. Together, Dalton, Booth and Lee brutally defeat the Family in a shoot-out/kung-fu showdown. Manson arrives to briefly check in on the family, stunned that his murder plot was thwarted, but is killed by Booth before he has a chance to react to the change of events. Tate and the others are saved, but Booth dies from fatal injuries sustained in the fight. Despite his career having not amounted to his ambition, Dalton acknowledges that it is the end of the 1960s, and the Hollywood spirit will live on.
Wait, what? This is just NOT the third act of the movie I saw last night. Like, at all. Is this an intentional revision to QT's revision, or a copy-paste error from an alternate universe?

But, back to the movie I saw: I get why Tarantino has haters, but I am not among them. I liked this a lot. It might not be your thing but to me, it was terrific. But still uncomfortable! I keep trying to unwind the intersection of terrific and discomfiting.

It was also surprisingly sweet - the young actress and Dalton, Sharon Tate in the theater watching her movie, Dalton's chance at redemption at the end (well, the end of the film I saw.)

And, I mean, I am just a sucker for cool people driving cool cars while cool music plays. I'm fine being pandered to in this regard.
posted by dirtdirt at 10:45 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


I really feel like I_Love_Bananas needs to drop back into this thread to tell us where they got that synopsis from.

I've put some of my thoughts about the movie in the thread about the response to the Bruce Lee scene over on the Blue. I basically enjoyed the movie as a weird fantasia of late '60s Hollywood, but there were a lot of things that bothered me about it too, most of which have already been discussed in this thread.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:09 AM on July 31


“Pulp Fiction” is similarly meandering, and I’m not sure it really has a point either,

I thinks it is clearer than in OUaTiH: at the end we see Jules and Vincent at odds about whether or not to continue with the life. It seems Jules is taillights and Vincent stays, and through the non-linear narrative, we know where this decision leads Vincent a day or two later. Something something redemption fate.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:33 PM on July 31


AFAIK that summary was what made it to Wiki. Fwiw there's been an uptick of sober-sounding fake summaries that's been fooling eager fans. MCU movies since at least Endgame got hit but there were more factcheckers as it were
posted by cendawanita at 1:35 PM on July 31


I loved this movie. It was meandering and melancholy and the ending was batshit. But it's maybe the only Tarantino movie* I've seen since "Jackie Brown" (which is one of my favorite movies of all time) that I imagine I'll see multiple times, because talk about settling into a hazy, sunstruck mood and just rolling with it. I've seen this movie twice now, once for work, and once with friends, and, as I said over on the blue, I found the some of the audience reactions the second time around sort of jarring. Maybe it was the theatre or the crowd, but I was a little uncomfortable at how easily people laughed at some of the problematic stuff the second time around.

Also, fantastic soundtrack, though I would argue they left some of the best songs off the official soundtrack.

*I thought both Django Unchained and Inglorious Basterds were great, but a tough rewatch.
posted by thivaia at 1:47 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Q needs someone to edit down his screenplays and movies.

I disagree. Putting aside the movies he has done only segments of (Four Rooms, Sin City, e.g.), his shortest theatrically-released movie is the 99-minute Reservoir Dogs, which was made when he was an unknown. Since he became a name brand director, the briefest is the separate release of Death Proof, at 114 minutes.

I have never met anyone who told me Death Proof was their favourite Tarantino movie.

Tastes differ, but I feel a lot more confident in QT's ability to keep me interested for two-and-three-quarter hours than in Brett Ratner's or Len Wiseman's ability to do the same for 88 minutes.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:48 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


(1) When Sharon first appeared after the time skip, I thought oh hell no, I'm not watching Tarantino's ultra-violence celebration of real murders and almost walked out. Somehow, I'd forgot what the film was about because I was so excited by the 1960s style in the trailer. However, it wasn't that.

(2) The relentless winter sunlight is one reason I couldn't live in California anymore, but now I'm ridiculously homesick--thanks a lot, QT!

(3) it was beautiful and sad and I loved it.
posted by betweenthebars at 2:44 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Seriously, what's up with the "synopsis"?

The last paragraph is a fantasy, is laughably incorrect, and describes events that did not occur in the film.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 2:48 PM on July 31


Nice use of Chekov's dog.
posted by Catblack at 8:41 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


Still digesting this one myself, though I think I might be exactly the intended audience. The joy of rolling around classic spots here in LA with Brad and Leo in a big car with the right music hit me just right.

Regarding the plot synopsis: The Verge described the Wikipedia edit war that was the source of the made up description posted above.
posted by brism at 6:11 AM on August 1 [2 favorites]


Speaking of anachronisms, the Boeing 747 did not enter commercial service until 1970.
posted by whuppy at 8:28 AM on August 1 [2 favorites]


As someone who spends a good chunk of my free time doing projects/hobbies that involve researching this era on a "day to day" basis (to the point where I often feel I live in 1969 more than now), this was right up my alley — with the caveat that I enjoyed it more as an experience than a film; I'm not sure I would have enjoyed it if I didn't care about the time period, since a lot of fun was spotting tiny details most period pieces get wrong. In fact, I wouldn't mind a bonus edit on disc of characters just driving around L.A. blasting the radio. (Hey, Rockstar! Give me a LA NOIRE expansion that converts it all to 1969!)

If you dug the soundtrack, the site ReelRadio has hours of airchecks from California and beyond for various eras, which is where I suspect Tarantino got the KHJ bits from.
posted by kaisemic at 4:59 PM on August 1 [6 favorites]


Speaking of anachronisms, the Boeing 747 did not enter commercial service until 1970.

You have to keep in mind that every narrative you have ever seen onscreen is set in a different universe than this one. Sometimes the changes are huge (an alien invasion in New York is repelled by a giant green rage monster, a Norse god, a dethawed science experiment, a spy, a guy with a bow, and Elon Musk) and sometimes minor. I can totally accept that in the Quentinverse -- where, after all, WWII ended a year early due to several uncoordinated yet simultaneous suicide attacks in a cinema in Paris -- that the first 747 entered service six months earlier than it did in our history.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:21 PM on August 2 [6 favorites]


Liked this film quite a lot. it's weirdly Tarantino's most self-indulgent film but at the same time his most restrained. I mean it's chock full of references to his films and other films and TV shows and half the cast seems to be children of his friends but there's very little of his wacky over-the-top stylistic ticks; it's mostly played pretty straight. I don't think that there's a single crash-zoom and really only one big action set piece. If nothing else, setting this in the sixties forced him to forgo any 1970s references.

That one action piece at the end seems weirdly tacked on as if he was saying, "OK, I know that you come to my films for big violence so here it is". I still don't know how I feel about that scene; I almost wish that the leads had lost the battle with the Mansons. It would have been more appropriate to the themes if the fake TV heroes had turned out to be shit in a real fight and had been quickly dispatched by the damn hippies that they hated. What if Tex bursts in and just shoots Cliff instantly and Rick Dalton's flame thrower fails or blows up in his face killing him?

Technically the film is amazing; Tarantino is still one of the greatest craftspeople working in film and it just looks and sounds great. The re-creation of 1969 is probably not perfect but works so well that I was feeling nostalgic about those cheap old silver can openers that never worked right. Movies like this almost seem like science-fiction in their obsessive world building so it wasn't surprising to see John Dykstra's name in the credits at the end.

Tarantino is of course a master at finding deep cuts of music; most directors would have the characters listing to Hendrix or Dylan but for some reason they're dancing to the mostly forgotten Paul Revere and the Raiders. The whole soundtrack feels like you're listening to an AM radio in an un-air-conditioned car with no seatbelts.

I'm a sucker for all the celebrations of the now-past analog world of film cameras, vinyl records, AM radios, B&W TVs and big black corded telephones so I loved all those details. I was five years old in 1969 and it feels very weird that the world I grew up in is now so old and dead.

I'm not sure what to make of its attitudes toward women and violence toward women. His characters prevent the killing of Tate and her friends but the murders of the two Manson women are pretty pornographically violent and then there's the weird subplot that Cliff may have killed his wife on a boat. Also he had to know that putting that Karmann Ghia in the film would make us remember the allegations of his negligence to Uma Thurman's safety in Kill Bill Vol 2. It seems like a deliberate middle finger but then Thurman's daughter appears in the film so the two of them can't be that much at odds.

It's hard to say after having just seen it once and only yesterday but I'd put this in at least the top three of his films.
posted by octothorpe at 8:52 AM on August 3 [9 favorites]


Catblack: "Nice use of Chekov's dog."

Not to mention Chekov's flamethrower.
posted by octothorpe at 8:57 AM on August 3 [11 favorites]


Tarantino is really frustrating to me because there's SO MUCH I love about his films, so many things that are done with love and care, so many unique points of focus that other directors would speed through in favor of tighter plotting or a cleaner message. Such a strong understanding of how storytelling worked in previous eras of film, and where to modernize the technique and where not to in order to really bring that style forward while still practicing really precise technical film making.

So it really bums me out that I never feel like I can recommend his movies because I'm always bracing for impact on some lame retrograde stuff. Some unnecessary slur or pointlessly disrespectful caricature or tacky treatment of women (or more commonly all of the above,) that I just can't get set aside to tell people "This movie is great and you should watch it." It seems beneath a filmmaker who's generally so clever and intentional about characterization. If he's trying to challenge modern sensibilities or something, it's not working. It's just annoying.

Instead fond look at a past era of indulgent schlock, his movies are so faithful to the attitude that they always wind up relegated to the same "guilty pleasure" category where I file the movies he's referencing; things I watch by myself on my quiet nights because I'm kinda self-conscious about the pleasure I get out of them, rather than something I watch and discuss with friends. I hoped for a long time he'd rise further above his source material, I thought he came most close to doing it with Ingloroius Basterds, but this is sort of a return to form in that regard.

tl;dr - this movie is hella Tarantino, for better and worse.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 3:02 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


Loved loved loved it. Tarantino at his lightest and most deft. Loved the production, the acting, the writing, the period feel -- all of it. Just the right amount of toying with expectations. I stayed away from any spoilers and was delighted by the twist ending. I saw it both as commenting on the randomness of violence, and of the need to give the movie it a Hollywood ending. How do you give the story of the Manson murders a happy ending? Who would take that on, but Tarantino?

A+++, would watch again. Easily one of my favourites of his, and a contender for his best.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:58 AM on August 6 [3 favorites]


I saw this as a favor to a friend and I have two things

A DANGER DIABOLIK joke I’m sure four people in the audience got

The Lancer pilot they’re shooting is designed to be all show off and technical skill ..to people who are noticing it. All of the scenes contain stuff that’s an absolute nightmare to shoot, ballistics, animals, children, food eaten on screen so it has to be perfect each time, the whole thing is a continuity NIGHTMARE and it’s being done so deftly and in the background that it has to be ...showing off.
posted by The Whelk at 3:51 PM on August 6 [7 favorites]


Booth participates in a fists-meets-martial-arts duel on the set of The Green Hornet with Bruce Lee and wins

My take on that was it was all in Booth's mind, while repairing the roof antenna.
posted by Pig Tail Orchestra at 1:14 PM on August 8 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, what was the point of any of it? It was sooo long. It had scenes of brutal violence. It had totally gratuitous racial slurs. Previous Tarantino films have had violence and racism, but they were relevant to the story. I don’t know what purpose they serve here. It perhaps shows that the DiCaprio character is a boor and out-of-time. For me, it was distracting and ineffective. Could you really use that anti-Mexican slur on TV in the 1960s?

I don’t understand how to take the ending. The Manson child made a speech in the car about killing those who taught them to murder. Is that supposed to be ironic? Or … not ironic?


It's a conceptual tragedy. He builds up characters that are essentially the anti-heroes of old west movies--characters as, (I think?) Squeaky Fromme points out, raised a generation on stylistic murder. What these characters actually did was prime us to expect and hunger for a type of violent heroism that doesn't actually happen in real life. In real life, perfectly nice people like Sharon Tate get senselessly murdered while pregnant. Nobody saves them. We want them to be saved, we want to see that violence (and for some reason, we want to see it against hippies--the villains in the movie and the movie-within-a-movie are all hippies! Lena Dunham was one of the head hippies! We want to see her and a guy that looks like Adam Driver face retributive violence! Why! But we do.) It doesn't exist in real life, where other, more senseless forms of violence exist.

But that myth is built on notions of white supremacy and violence against women, too. Cliff is probably a wife murderer who swaggers around and picks macho fights with Bruce Lee. That's part of the myth, and it's an ugly part, but it's there.

I have a love-hate relationship with QT, as many of us do, I suspect. I love Kill Bill for how it calls back to the kung fu movies I grew up watching with my dad, at too-young an age. But I only watch his movies when I like what they're riffing on (I pretty much hated Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction). I'm glad I watched this one, though it was difficult. It's actually made me want to watch Inglorious Basterds even though I hate stuff with Nazis.

I did think this movie used narrative tension and audience knowledge about historical events in a better way than almost any film I've ever seen. Even after the violence, I didn't feel like I'd gone through a particular catharsis, because of what Actually Happened that night. I felt pretty anxious through the whole thing, and the movie was really skillful in not letting us get too far from that anxiety even when it was being pretty and indulgent in other ways.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:23 AM on August 9 [4 favorites]


My god was that the most boring half a movie I ever saw.
posted by STFUDonnie at 6:35 PM on August 9


I thought it was a bit too long and could've used some trimming.

I loved the ending. Get some, hippies!
posted by kirkaracha at 9:16 PM on August 9 [1 favorite]


I had the opposite reaction, I was entranced the whole run-time and thought it felt shorter than it was. I could have lived in that world longer.
posted by octothorpe at 3:16 AM on August 10 [2 favorites]


I had the opposite reaction, I was entranced the whole run-time and thought it felt shorter than it was. I could have lived in that world longer.

Same, but I am soooo here for homoerotic bromance character studies.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:18 AM on August 10 [2 favorites]


Saying this senseless tragedy (committed by hippies, btw) could have been prevented if we had more tough guys (you know, like Hollywood used to have) committing brutal violence just feels like a Republican fever-dream at this point.
posted by ckape at 6:48 PM on August 10 [5 favorites]


Alternately, It's saying that it's a fantasy, a fairy tale, that anyone will stop self-centered baby boomers from coming to murder you in your home.
posted by figurant at 3:49 PM on August 14 [2 favorites]


For the record, Death Proof is my favourite Tarantino movie.
posted by misfish at 4:13 PM on August 29


Death Proof is the only one I have never seen. I saw Planet Terror and that was so bad that I didn't bother to watch Tarantino's half of Grindhouse.
posted by octothorpe at 4:19 PM on August 29


Holy shit, Once Upon ... was so good and unexpected. Sad and lovely and funny and violent and terrifying. It might be fantasy, a dream searching for a better past, but I cannot think of a movie in which the actual reality of the past plays a bigger part. Commonly, historical movies refer to the past through their action and narrative, attempting to model the historical reality into a coherent whole; but Once Upon ... relies on past reality to render its action and narrative coherent. If you only take into account what goes on in the movie, a lot of it simply does not make sense, especially the ending (it would not be a sweet revenge but simply a random act of hilarious violence) and the hallucinatory absence/presence of Sharon Tate (why is she in the movie anyway, you might ask, if you only think of the actual movie world - but add the historical reality and she becomes the most important character, the one around whom the whole myth is woven). Once Upon ... might be a fairy tale, but I have yet to meet one so rooted in reality. Amazing. I saw it a week ago, but still haunts me.
posted by sapagan at 3:33 AM on August 30 [3 favorites]


Just saw it last night, after having avoided Tarantino films for ages. I really tired out of all the meta meta, the irony and the perfect images and the violence, but... this was brilliant, and I feel I need to go see it again soon because I missed a lot of details. It is a beautiful film, and I loved every minute. Should I go back and see more of his recent films?

About the racism and sexism: as I saw it, the two main characters are shallow, stupid and generally unlikeable people. They have shitty thoughts and fantasies, and in the end scene, they are not revenging anything, because the thing they would have been revenging hasn't happened and won't happen. It's: what if the Manson Family of starved out crazies had entered the wrong house and found a couple of violent, angry armed guys with a big dog instead of a group of naive youngsters.
There is no redemption. I guess this is a recurring theme with Tarantino, but I found it more eloquently played out than in the films I saw ages ago before I gave up on him.
posted by mumimor at 2:27 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


There is no redemption. I guess this is a recurring theme with Tarantino,

I’d disagree, but I am curious when you “gave up” on Tarantino.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:55 AM on September 27


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