Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood’

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Brad Pitt, Leonard DiCaprio and Al Pacino in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood

We first became aware of filmmaker Quentin Tarantino with his directorial debut, 1992’s Reservoir Dogs, and we’ll never be able to hear “Stuck in the Middle With You” without thinking of the film’s brutal scene that played to that song.

Since then, he’s been sparing in his releases, which includes such films as Pulp Fiction (1994), the back-to-back Kill Bill movies (2003-04) and Inglorious Basterds (2009).

Now comes Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood – starring Tarantino veterans Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt – which the notes describe as a visit to “1969 Los Angeles, where everything is changing, as TV star Rick Dalton (DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Pitt) make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore. The ninth film from the writer-director features multiple storylines in a tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age.”

While Dalton and Booth are fictitious, among the real-life characters in the film are Mama Cass and Bruce Lee. Oh, and Sharon Tate, Roman Polanski and Charles Manson.

Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate in Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood

The film also stars Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, Margot Robbie, Damian Lewis, Bruce Dern, Dakota Fanning, and Luke Perry (in his final film; he died March 4).

“I love that stuff… you know… the killing,” says Pacino, who plays a film producer. “Lot of killing,” agrees DiCaprio’s character.

Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood had its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on May 21. As of July 5, its Rotten Tomatoes score is a robust 92. The Los Angeles Times called it “[A] richly evocative, excessively foot-fetishizing, inescapably terrifying and unexpectedly poignant movie.”

New York Magazine wrote: “It’s the most fun the director seems to have had in years, but it’s also, oddly, his most compassionate picture in more than a decade.”

And like any Tarantino film, moviegoers can look forward to a soundtrack from classic rock favorites that are expertly weaved in. If the trailer is any indication, Once Upon a Time will be no exception, with its great use of Paul Revere & the Raiders’ “Good Thing.”

Watch the Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood trailer

Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood opens July 26 in the U.S and August 14 in the U.K. We can’t wait.

Related: The dance scene from Pulp Fiction

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