Theatrical Reviews

Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood Review

Once Upon Atime 1

Studio:
Sony Pictures Releasing   

What’s It About?
A fading television actor and his stunt double attempt to survive in the industry, and get caught up, unexpectedly, in the life of their neighbour, Sharon Tate.   

Who’s In It?
Leo DiCaprio (Romeo & Juliet, Titanic, Inception, & more recently The Revenant) 
Brad Pitt (Twelve Monkeys, Moneyball, & more recently The Big Short)

Other notables include:
Margot Robbie (The Wolf Of Wall Street, I, Tonya, & more recently Mary, Queen Of Scots)
Al Pacino (The Godfather, Carlito's Way, & more recently Danny Collins)

Director: Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, & Django Unchained)   

Audiences Expect:
Tarantino returns with a bang with this ode to classic ’50s TV. Pulling together a scintillating cast led by former favourites Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, he also entices Margot Robbie in for the third major role.
DiCaprio plays Rick Dalton, the hero of popular weekly Western Bounty Law, with his stuntman Cliff Booth, played by Pitt. But things are no longer rosy for the pair with the writing on the wall for their Hollywood careers. Bounty Law has been cancelled, and despite multiple cameos in other shows, Rick is most certainly on the way out, and he knows it – and that in turn will spell the end for Booth, who only really gets gigs because of Dalton, and is regarded with suspicion after the questionable death of his wife.
Watching them both struggle along, battling booze and insecurity, or simply shooting the breeze and watching episodes of FBI is mesmerising. Pitt and DiCaprio are compelling enough as individuals, but seeing them as a duo is utterly enthralling, and one is left hoping that this is simply the first of many collaborations. 
Despite the chaps dominating proceedings, the third role is filled by Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate. Although limited in terms of time and dialogue, she still has moments to shine, including a wonderful cinema scene, and inevitably the build up to that fateful evening concerning Charles Manson and his followers, while there are some incredible support roles from the likes of Timothy Olyphant donning the Western hat pleasingly once again, Dakota Fanning as a creepy Squeaky, Lena Denham as a Manson disciple, The Leftovers’ Margaret Qualley, Julia Butters, and an intriguing if slightly overused Al Pacino as Dalton’s agent.
Wonderfully lit, brilliantly scripted, infused with humour and ultimately some brutal violence, and led by a first rate cast, this really is Tarantino at his very best.   

In A Nutshell:
A pulsating and riveting film with outstanding lead performances, and an unpredictable storyline in one of Tarantino’s best.   

Highlight:
The chemistry between Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio
The look and feel of the film
The script  

Lowpoint:
Perhaps the ending, which may seem unpalatable for some.

Certificate: 18

EDITOR’S CHOICE