Once Upon A Time… he deserves an analysis, and he probably does it here in a month, when most people have been able to see it at the cinema. In this case, the review should avoid the most important aspects. Otherwise it would be a real cretin.
When the movie is starting, three things are ending in Hollywood, all at the same time: the golden age of the studios, the hippie dream and the career of Rick Dalton (Leonardo Di Caprio). His friend, employee and double risk, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) accompanies him in his sorrows. We have a sincere relationship. Tarantino films a buddy movie without having to make a fight, or a crazy comedy. Cliff and Rick are good friends and have a good time together. A little less than a marriage, as will be said at some point.
Rick's career is going to hell. From a past as the protagonist of a Western television, going through a stalemate trying to move to the major leagues of cinema, to this present in 1969, in which he survives with the remains. Marvin Schwarz (Al Pacino) producer and agent of artists (real character) warns him that his “villain of the week” present on television shows is a one-way way. It offers you a solution: spaghetti westerns. Going to film in Italy. Tarantino is not deprived of anything. What is said on the screen is resignified because Quentin directs, the last genuine lover. Rick's tirade at the offer is especially funny because it is a Tarantino movie, who has paid homage to the genres of exploitation. "Don't cry in front of the Mexicans," Cliff will say as he passes his raybans to Rick.
Dalton lives on Cielo Drive Street. Its neighbors are the couple formed by Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) and Roman Polanski (Rafal Zawierucha), with the curious addition of Jay Sebring (Emile Hirsch), Sharon Tate's ex-boyfriend and hairdresser. Cliff lives in a trailer, behind a drive-in.
Rick and Cliff travel by car, from the studios to Cielo Drive, to the bars, to the streets of Los Angeles. Much of the movie happens in cars. Los Angeles is a city built on the vast plain, where it rains little and the sun shines. It travels along long highways, and avenues, the radio sounds and Tarantino boasts its ability to choose music that works better in its films than by itself.
But I was telling you, we are at the end of an era. Something is in decline, something does not work in these hippies that are seen at the bus stop making a finger. Cliff keeps meeting Pussycat (Margaret Qualley) in the streets. The first scene between them, Pitt's minimal gesture behind the wheel, making the peace symbol with the V-fingers, the slow motion, the look on the lens, is all the combined power of a huge director, a fabulous Director of Photography (Robert Richardson) and an actor born for the camera. When in doubt about what the cinema can do in two shots, see Margaret Qualley across the street and Brad Pitt reacting to your greeting.
The story, as usual in its director, takes time. Tarantino loves footers, and sets footers with memorable sequences, such as Bruce Lee (Mike Moh) or the boat accident, which is curiously a flashback inside another. The lines fork, and then we have three main ones; Cliff's line, Rick's line and Sharon Tate's line.
Rick's line will become the tribute to the film and TV industry. There will be a festival of secondary actors and cameos. We confirm that Tarantino is a fan of the Justified series. He had already casted Walton Goggins in Django and The Hateful Eight. In Once Upon A Time ... Timothy Oliphant and Damon Harriman are brought, the characters Rylan Givens and Dewey Crowder respectively.
In addition, it comes in cameos to Scott McNairy (Halt and Catch Fire / True Detective / Godless), Luke Perry (Beverly Hills 90210 / Riverdale), Clifton Collins Jr (Westworld / Ballers) and many, many, more.
While Rick acts, Cliff fixes his house, makes him a driver and lives a strange encounter with members of the Manson sect, which include a spooky trip to Spahn Ranch, his place of residence. Rick is Marlboro Man. Nothing can happen to him. He is an American hero. Brad Pitt, more like Robert Redford than ever, savors this paper, without needing to be eating, or doing anything. He is a man who has nothing but his dog, a beautiful pit bull named Brandy, and who at the same time has the world literally grabbed by the balls. You can fight, you can climb, you can do a spinning top 360 in a shitty car and get out very well and with the impeccable jean of any situation.
On the other hand, Sharon Tate, a character that overflows sweetness and innocence, lives the beginning of his Hollywodense fame. He goes to the parties of the Playboy Mansion, hugs with Steve McQueen (an incredible Damian Lewis) and has one of the best scenes, so tender and affectionate, that Tarantino has ever filmed. Walking through the streets of Los Angeles, he sees that a film in which he participated is on the bill, and goes to the window to get an entry. What follows is probably the greatest love song to the cinema and to those who do that has been filmed since The American Night of Truffaut.
Tarantino, with this story that is not coral, but that snakes through several slopes, makes a kind of Boogie Nights in his style. Their leitmotivs, their obsessions and fetishes are present. He is a self-conscious author. He knows what he wants, and he knows that we look forward to it. Feet and yellow, neon and music, voice over and comings and goings in time. Everything is there, executed with harmony. He makes the anti-documentary par excellence, and adjusts accounts, while he recites words of love at a time and to some people who will not return and others who, perhaps, have only existed in the feverish imagination of true lovers.
And the best of these thousand words is that, with all the praise, and the emotion that Eleven Upon A Time woke up in me… I didn't even have to tell you the really important thing about this movie: that is Tarantino's faith in the power of this art that insist on declaring dead, but here he dances, sings, shoots and drinks Whiskey Sour. If it is true that he is dead, and things like this movie happen, then I no longer fear death. There is Quentin, the redeemer.
To highlight, in my constructive criticism, this movie qualifies on a scale as a number from one to ten, it would be eight, before mentioned. But each criterion is independent, it is only your own idea, you are free to see and judge for yourself.