Oh, those swinging sixties: giving us sunshine, Woodstock, rock 'n' roll, cinematic masterpieces and the Manson family. An almost three hours long nostalgy tour around the golden age of Hollywood, led by Quentin Tarantino.
Tarantino said that when he wrote the script he was inspired by his own upbringing in the midst of LA’s hippie-crazed counterculture. So it is his most personal movie up-to-date, kind of a satyric homage to the film industry. Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) a fading TV-star and his stunt-buddie Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) try to stand their ground together while the world is rapidly changing around them. There's no real coherent plot here, we are in 1969, our (anti)-heroes try to get by despite their private problems: they cross path with the angelic Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), representing all the warmth and openness of that era, but they also cross path with the Manson cult, representing the dark side of the '60s. There's something illusory and fragile about this golden age, and Dalton's character leaks real post-modern loneliness. As for violence (unfortunately the trademark of Tarantino), it only happens at the end of the film, but when it happens it's absolutely graphic and gruesome. To sum it up, movie nerds and Tarantino fans will probably love this film, but those who can't stand the director's cynism and his ability to depict extreme violence as something funny, will undoubtedly remain a bit sceptical about 'Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood' despite all its merits.