Ben Oliver

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

My hands are registered as lethal weapons.
26 August 2019

A movie star and his stuntman teeter on the verge of obsolescence in 60s Hollywood.

Tarantino made a film about what he loves most and it’s a sight to behold.

Normally in period pieces they skimp on outside shots and lean on CGI to avoid having to ship in cars and billboards. Here he delights in being in the environment. Driving for the sake of it, radio on, top down. Margot Robbie goes to a book shop, buys a book and comes back, but instead of being boring you never want to leave.

Despite the epic scale of the set this is perhaps his least showy piece, it’s comfortable in its own skin like The Hateful Eight. It’s happy to stroll along at its own pace but does a much better job of keeping the audience on board.

Go to a big screen, sit back and drink this in. There are scenes that are thin on the ground, there are scenes that are unforgettable. It doesn’t matter because you won’t want it to end.

A master of the medium at the height of his powers. Perhaps this is no Pulp Fiction but it’s a joy to watch nevertheless, and it will only get better with time.

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