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.

4 thoughts on “Mini Movie Review (ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD)

  1. It was interesting that you mentioned the Manson reference. As soon as I saw Sharon Tate’s name, I thought of Vincent Bugliosi’s book “Helter Skelter” and the movie that came after. I don’t think I ever saw a movie she played in. I was in sixth grade at the high school when I saw what made the biggest impression for me at the time. All the older students had walked out and had a sit-in protesting the Vietnam War. It was huge. I admired their tenacity and the sense of freedom that came with it. I also loved the change in clothes and the freedom of expression that followed. Most of all, they taught me about courage – the courage to speak your mind and be true to your beliefs and the willingness to stand up for those beliefs. I also remember the fear that was mixed in with all that excitement – most of all, that freedom came at a high price. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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  2. I figured your memories from that time in your life were more accurate than what you mentioned from the film and something I could relate to. Heck, I can even remember the reek of pollution everywhere we went, mostly from car exhaust, people burning trash, and at that time the constant smell of pot from outdoor concerts. Anyways, I do enjoy reading your posts and appreciate you sharing on this blog. Wow, another great picture! I just noticed that.

    Liked by 1 person

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