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FILM REVIEW: ONCE UPON A TIME . . . IN HOLLYWOOD (18) ESP RATING: 4/5

The genius that is Quentin Tarantino fires out another masterpiece – even though this is more subtle than his previously acclaimed works.

The filmmaker and director behind the likes of Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill and Django Unchained, completes another ‘pet project’ – with this ode to Hollywood’s Golden Age.

But what makes it all the more intriguing is that it’s continually set to the backdrop of Margot Robbie’s (Suicide Squad) Sharon Tate, the wife of director Roman Polanski, who was murdered by the cult Manson Family in 1969 – at the behest of Charles Manson.

And Tarantino weaves two fictional Tinseltown tales that directly interlaces into the ‘Tate Murders’ events – involving Hollywood stereotypes played brilliantly by Leonardo DiCaprio and (particularly) Brad Pitt.

DiCaprio stars as faded television actor Rick Dalton – a man struggling to reach his past glories as the lead in fifties western Bounty Law – now struggling with ‘the bottle’ after being relegated to roles as ‘gunslinging bad guys’.

And after losing his driving licence, he’s constantly chaperoned by Pitt’s Cliff Booth, Dalton’s best friend and stuntman.

The slow-moving and methodical story is definitely more of a critic’s ‘dream’ than a movie for a casual film-goer – but several sensational set pieces make it worth the watch alone.

Booth’s backlot fight with Mike Moh’s Bruce Lee, Dalton’s bond with Julia Butter’s young star Trudi, and ultimately the final compelling (and quite graphic) final scene, are undoubtedly stand out moments.

Throw in cameos from the likes of Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, Bruce Dern and the late Luke Perry, and Tarantino’s jaunt into late sixties Los Angeles pieces together into a slow-burning, but ultimately compelling, nod to this cut-throat era.

Non-Tarantino fans need not apply.

But if you’re interested in being one, this is a good place to pick up an application form – even though with this being his ninth film he claims there’s only one more to go.

And this joins one hell of a back catalogue.  

Rating: 4/5

Gavin Miller

Cast: Leonardo Dicaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Emile Hirsch, Julia Butters, Austin Butler, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern, Zoe Bell, Mike Moh, Damian Lewis, Michael Madsen & Luke Perry

Running Time: 2 Hrs 41 Mins

Director: Quentin Tarantino

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Legend

Written by ESP Magazine

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