The black comedy is certainly heavy at times, but it offers a story of sincere friendship and moments of anthology that allow it to stand out.
Some of Quentin Tarantino’s films are more accessible than others. This is certainly not one of his simplest works. The hard-core cinephiles, the true inveterate, those who have bathed in spaghetti western and who know the Hollywood culture of the time will be thrilled by Tarantino’s arrogant, crazy and malicious proposal. For the others, it will be necessary to rely on the extraordinary performance of the main actors to feel a little concerned by this production which could be described as nested.
Those who cannot understand the references to The Green Hornet or the impact of the massacres perpetrated by the disciples of Charles Manson will nevertheless be able to grasp the acuity of the dialogues of Tarantino – a master in this field – and the quality of his characters. Leonardo Dicaprio delivers a brilliant and touching performance under the guise of this declining actor who deeply loves his job, but it is Brad Pitt, in the role of a dedicated stuntman, who amazes the most. The latter, now 55 years old, demonstrates here the full extent of his talent. The subtlety and intensity of her play move us as much as it disconcerts us. The Oscar is within his reach; he will only have to reach out in February.
Without surprise, from an aesthetic point of view, Quentin Tarantino gives us a full view thanks to skilful camera movements and intense brightness. Its soundtrack, brilliantly constructed, transports us nimbly to this time when television began to intimidate the cinema. The director enjoyed making this film, obviously. Unfortunately, at times, we feel that he did it more for himself than for the spectators. Sometimes you feel abandoned in favour of a melancholy whose essence you don’t necessarily grasp. There is also a certain repetition at the end of the course that annoys. You have to know that the film still lasts 2h41. Not everything is of immaculate relevance.
The fact remains that Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (a title that obviously refers to Sergio Leone’s cinema) contains scenes that could well have gone down in history. This sequence during which Brad Pitt breaks the mouth of young Bruce Lee is worth a visit as well as this magnificent scene between young Julia Butters and a Dicaprio with skin. As is customary in the cinema of Tarantino, we also find an unheard of violence that confuses the spectator. This one is much less present in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood than in other of his works, but its amperage and striking strength exceed that of many.Tarantino manages to make us smile in moments when the blood flows and the cries of pain echo, which is not given to everyone… and fortunately because this dichotomy makes his cinema a phenomenon.
The black comedy is certainly heavy at times, but it offers a story of sincere friendship and moments of anthology that allow it to stand out. True fans of Tarantino – and all the more those who share the same references as him – will delight in this squeaky ode to the cinema. The others will have a good time, but may miss Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained.