I wasn’t sure what to expect from Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. I’m more a fan of his horror movies and this looked more like a quirky, star-studded affair. Most of the time I find those movies boring and contrived.
So I was pleasantly surprised when I found this movie engaging, funny, and smart. Tarantino was brilliant as he weaved a seemingly innocuous story about a fading actor and his stunt double with one of the most notorious murders in our history.
I have a funny feeling this movie started with the question ‘what if’, as in what if Manson’s people were distracted by another actor? What if they broke into the wrong house and were injured or killed instead of getting away with it?
I had no idea this was a story about Sharon Tate as well and was fascinated when some of the characters were introduced. Including Spahn Ranch was another nice touch. Of course, some of the details were altered or made up to move the story along but the overall effect was awesome.
I found it especially amazing because I recently read Tom O’Neill’s book Chaos which was an in depth story of the conspiracy surrounding Charles Manson, his followers, and the Sharon Tate murders. It was nice to see that someone did their homework with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
The movie wasn’t too violent or bloody until the very end and while it was a bit shocking it totally fit with the quirkiness of the movie. I should also mention the acting was suburb. Leonardo Dicaprio was amazing – anyone else remember him from Growing Pains? Wow, he’s come a long way – and Brad Pitt was, well, Brad Pitt. He’s always been one of my favorites. Fight Club. Seven. World War Z. You get the idea.
So, all in all, this is one of Tarantino’s best, filled with subtle lessons, excellent acting, and an engaging story. Definitely add it to your must see list if you haven’t seen it already!