In his ninth film, Tarantino has proved he really likes making movies about things that interest him. He loves the golden era of Hollywood and successfully transports the audience there. Following around an actor and his stunt double make for a really interesting setting. His craftsmanship is on full display as everything seemed perfect, from the lighting to camera movements, it was all top tier. A huge part of making it all work came down to the acting though, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt elevate the material they are given and breathe as much life as possible into the movie. Even with its flawless presentation, Once Upon a Time In Hollywood is hard to watch.
The truth is, there is a severe lack of tension to push the plot forward, nothing is ever really being built up to. Aside from the realistic depiction of Hollywood as a business and the handful of great scenes that will be clipped out and be put on YouTube, the movie is aimless. Other critics might site that they love how the film is a collection of moments, that the break from narrative structure is to be applauded, they are just making up reasons to defend a bad script. With a runtime of two hours and forty minutes, there needs to be something to string the audience along. Just having a good third act doesn’t absolve the rest of the film from all of its sins.
Tarantino proves once again that he is a first-rate director when it comes to the act of making movies, from a technical standpoint there is little to complain about. Whenever you decide to watch one of his films, you will be treated to a curated selection of music that perfectly intertwines with the visuals on-screen. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood could have been really great. but with all the things that it gets wrong, there is little reason to see it. It still features great acting and scenes which still don’t make it a must watch.
As more time has passed, I realize the appreciation I have for the craft and quality that Once Upon a Time In Hollywood exudes. I can't forget about the aspects of the movie I do like and all of the nuances that story takes its time planting. If I had known the movie was almost three hours before going to see it, I might have had a better reaction to it. I definitely plan on seeing it again, but probably not in theaters.
I guess fairy tales aren't true