Summer! How about these record hot days? And how about the record hype on the movie scene lately? Everyone and their mother is falling over themselves paying homage to… the great one. I want you to be smarter, so I’ll arm you with some little known facts applicable in this particular case. Let’s go!
ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD
I’m almost sure many of you won’t agree with me about this latest project from Quentin Tarantino, and that really, really breaks my heart… But, I feel it’s my job to share with you my insights.
I’ll come clean—I’m not fond of the dude (I used to look up to him). He admitted he knew about Harvey Weinstein’s behavior back in 03. He defended Roman Polanski’s rape of the thirteen-year-old child. But Tarantino is so highly revered, I had to see what the hype was about.
Set in 1969 Hollywood, the movie is about Rick (Leo DiCaprio), a has-been TV star, trying to make it in film, with the help of his stuntman Cliff (Brad Pitt). Sorry, but I have no desire to see an actor doing their job (boring!)—not unless it involves something wildly, crazily bizarre. So I thought, well, there’s got to be some crazy subplot.
And there was—just the Manson family, the murders, and Polanski. All fun topics. But even that failed to light it up, because both roles are just cameos. It’s almost as if Tarantino does not want to sully his fond collage. That’s the problem: this movie is just a collection of pretty memories. The horrific problems of the time are not addressed, because they’d ruin Tarantino’s fond recollection. In his head, the sixties were fab. And that’s all the movie is: a gorgeous collection of images: beautiful actors, brilliant cinematography, perfect set design. Which held my attention for all of ten minutes. The movie also includes a fair amount of violence and gore—but what’s a Tarantino movie without that?
Still, I’m okay with someone doing homage to fond memories of Hollywood. That’s how Tarantino remembers it, and the world of film is his playground, and the movie will draw a huge crowd at the box office. But, I want you to note these facts about the creator and this his ‘swan song.’ One: there are many he could have cast instead of Emile Hirsch—a man who admitted dragging and choking a woman. Two: you remember Uma Thurman accused Tarantino of creating an unsafe work environment that almost killed her in 2003 (the set of KILL BILL). And in HOLLYWOOD, in a scene where Rick is filming, Tarantino has Rick toss a girl off camera. When people rush to her, concerned, the girl brushes it off, pointing to her arm pads. I guess Uma forgot hers that fateful day in 2003? Three: we see Cliff kill his wife—but only because she was annoying! Wellll… that’s just fine, then! Four: we see an underage girl offer to have sex with Cliff, but again, it’s okay, because she’s okay with it! Alrighty then.
Finally, there’s Tarantino’s ‘nod’ to the #MeToo movement: he reduces the talented Margot Robbie (playing the role of Sharon Tate) to a set piece by trotting her about like a show horse, with few speaking lines, no character, and of course no mind of her own. I guess in Tarantino’s mind that’s all she is—a cute mannequin.
All of which makes me wonder: who did he make this movie for, with its disjointed image of a man ruminating upon his best days (himself? Or Rick?)? Here’s the trailer:
And now, onto the most important business of all—what do you think? Did you see it? Let me know! And I’ll see everyone the next time around! Adios 😊