Quentin Tarantino’s new film ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD was a mixed bag. I enjoyed all the 60s music, TV, and movie references. I also liked the frequency of long scenes with the main characters, such as them driving and listening to music or talking one-on-one with someone. Facial reaction shots were a thought-out part of this technique, along with some creative tinting to the lighting, all to lend a colorful, nostalgic tone to the movie, which I appreciated. But, the scene mocking Bruce Lee felt insulting and racist and I could have done without all the gratuitous violence at the end. Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio did make pretty amusing foils for each other, however. And Margot Robbie was fun and adorable as Sharon Tate.
The real alienating and angering aspect for me with the movie overall was the very negative stereotyping of hippies. They were repeatedly portrayed as stupid and sociopathic Manson followers. This is such a tired trope. I was raised by and around hippies and, man, we had nothing to do with Manson (and the vast majority of hippies didn’t) and were anything but stupid and sociopathic. We were justifiably concerned about many things, such as the environment and the ongoing war in Vietnam. Some of those values would have been good to see expressed in the film, but they were nowhere to be found.
My advice to all who are interested in watching this movie: wait until the release on DVD to see it, or, better yet, watch it for free if you can.