Actor Rick Dalton gained fame and fortune by starring in a 1950s television Western, but is now struggling to find meaningful work in a Hollywood that he doesn’t recognize anymore. He spends most of his time drinking and palling around with Cliff Booth, his easygoing best friend and longtime stunt double. Rick also happens to live next door to Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate — the filmmaker and budding actress whose futures will forever be altered by members of the Manson Family.
Plot: A faded television actor and his stunt double strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles.
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Aspect Ratio: 2.39.1
Runtime: 161 min
Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Thrillingly unrestrained yet solidly crafted, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood tempers Tarantino’s provocative impulses with the clarity of a mature filmmaker’s vision.
“One of the best films of 2019!”
Quentin Tarantino’s ninth feature film is a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood. The two lead characters are Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), former star of a western TV series, and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Both are struggling to make it in a Hollywood they don’t recognize anymore.
Usually, when I get Blu-ray review copies I tend to talk about the plot a bit more and then lead into my thoughts — but as you can imagine, Tarantino’s film-making style is very unique and nothing is ever as it seems. What you get from the trailer is what you get going in, I don’t want to accidentally spoil anything if you’re looking forward to watching this for the first time.
… and yes, you need to watch this one!
I’m not a die-hard Tarantino fan, but I’ve seen every one of his films. Where does Upon A Time… in Hollywood fall when it comes to a best and worst list? I’d throw it right around the Top 3 and no higher than five, but that’s just my opinion. One thing’s for sure, it’s one of his most vibrant and stylish films he’s ever put out — there are some ‘Tarantino’ aspects that come into the film (and you know when they happen), but dare I say, this might be his most mainstream film to date.
Something you need to know going in is that this isn’t the (full) real story of Hollywood in the 1960s, it’s a rift on what went down through Tarantino’s eyes — so take that as you may. The funny thing is, in its nearly 3 hour runtime, there’s never a true-dull a moment and the actors even become heroes of sorts, and shockingly, everyone lives happily ever after. How many times does that happen in a Tarantino film?
Could the movie have been shorter and been just as good? Yes, but with this cast, why shorten anything? We need the scenes of DiCaprio & Pitt hanging out and watching TV, we need Margot Robbie watching and enjoying her film in the theater and we need DiCaprio singing in his pool with headphones on. All these things, plus a great cast chemistry and a world-shaping cinematography wrap up Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood up in a nice little bow.
Beyond that, you can bet that the acting is superb, the directing is phenomenal and everything in-between works — you’ll be sucked right into 1969. This is sure to be just as much of a hit at the Oscars as it will be at the Golden Globes. It was nominated for Best Motion Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor & Best Screenplay. It’s hard to say what it will win, but with this star-studded cast… something will come from it, you can bet your bottom dollar on that.
In closing, this isn’t my all-time favorite Tarantino film, but, it’s one of his best and definitely one of the best films of 2019. You have my recommendation to pick up Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood immediately on whatever format you have access to. Not only is it a great 4K UHD disc, but the Blu-ray will be a great addition to your collection too. Make sure you grab it at your local retailer when it releases on 4K & Blu-ray today.
Did you catch Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood in theaters? Were you a fan of this movie? Will you be picking it up to own? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
While your here, check out more of my 4K & Blu-ray reviews. Even more, see the newest trailers, press releases, music and more on the rest of the site. Follow me for faster updates on Twitter and Instagram.