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Quentin Tarantino’s latest, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, is filled to the brim with mid-1960s Hollywood nostalgia, hero worship of underappreciated hard-living “almost made it” B-movie tough guys, meticulously curated classic rock and characters who speak movie reference as a second language. None of that is a surprise. The surprise (well, one of them) comes from how much of a difference grounding the story in the real(ish) time and place being referenced makes to the tone and meaning of all that film buff trivia.

This tale of historical fiction is about two conjoined fortunes of a fading TV cowboy (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his loyal stuntman (Brad Pitt) and how they orbit (but doesn’t precisely “center”) Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate in the weeks and months prior to the infamous real-life “Manson family murders.” Tarantino has found an ideal channel to focus his fixations, fantasies, and fetishes… and delivers his most authentically human feature to date.

This is Escape to the Movies with MovieBob, talking about Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

 

Bob Chipman
Bob Chipman is a critic and author.

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