Once upon a time in Hollywood (2019)

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood poster.jpeg
Once upon a time in Hollywood (2019) Movie Poster.
Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, in a Quinten Tarantino film... a lot of things I'm not real fans of, so I went in bored and figuring it'd be something to do, but with low expectations. And it proved if you set the bar low enough, it can exceed them. Still, this isn't a glowing a review, but it was watchable and somewhat entertaining. I thought Pitt did an exceptionally good job as an aging stuntman. DiCaprio may be a douche in real life, but he can act and sold his part. And Tarantino does know how to film and add drama. My problem was the story was somewhat boring, deviated a lot from historical accuracy, and I'm not sure those liberties did much for the film. But while I would want to give it a 1 star for who is involved and their sanctimonious attitudes, I have to give it a solid middle of the road performance as it was slow for an action film, but damn if it didn't have somewhat interesting characters and the film style was Tarantino but watchable.

The plot is an aging Hollywood actor Rick Dalton (Leo) is fearing (with good justification) that his career is over, and his tag along friend and stunt double (Brad Pitt aka Cliff Booth). The no-longer leading man is finishing up being the bad guy on a few more important shows while pondering doing Spaghetti Westerns that were offered him, but Dalton feels are beneath him. This is all intersecting others like Bruce Lee, Charles Manson's crew, and actress Sharon Tate and her husband, director Roman Polanski, who live next door... and Dalton's dreams of befriending and restoring his leading status. I won't offer spoilers, but Tarantino goes bonkers on the ending with it bearing less reality than normal for Hollywood, but it is Tarantino after all. But he is good at setting up drama that isn't, and bringing drama out of stuff that isn't that dramatic.


There was a 15 point spread spread between the Reviewers (Critics) and Viewers (Audience) on this one: 85% of critics liked it, while 70% of the audience did. This one was because Tarantino has a certain arty style that is good filmography, but the plot, history, action were weak. It was slow and long, but good characters, dialog, acting, and directing. If you care about characters and style, it was a win. If you cared about plot and historical accuracy, it was a stinker.
Reviewer Bias 

Movie critics often have a leftward slant that makes them droll and predictable. It also means if a movie is at all political, has anything that's politically incorrect, or can be re-imagined that way, then reviewers will likely get out of touch with the audience. Since I lean towards the audience preferences and away from marxism as movie-reviews, this spread (or the inverse of the reviewers opinions) can be a better indicator of how much I'll like a film than their actual reviews. more...


Rotten Tomatoes reviewers gave it a solid 85%, while the audience gave it 70%. And once again, I agree with the audience: it's a solid C effort. Watching it as a teenager, drunk or buzzed might help. But I can see how the Reviewers would value it more for "art" and style, and the audience thought it was OK and interesting, but not really special or out of this world. If you're bored, and like Tarantino, and like characters more than plot, you'll probably really like this. If you value action, historical accuracy, or want more plot than character development, you will likely feel like these 2 1/2 hours have been stolen from you forever.


📚 References