CRITICAL – Fascinating, the feature film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie strikes the perfect balance between joyful nostalgia and poisonous violence.
Once upon a time in California, in the heart of the summer of 1969. American cinema is slowly changing. The terrible children of “New Hollywood” take power while the actors who have not taken this wave are retraining on television … or go to Italy to shoot spaghetti westerns.
Under the sun and the cameras of an industry which tries to remain glamorous, the small Quentin Tarantino is only 6 years old… but does not miss a beat. Wide-eyed, the future wonder boy independent cinema makes memories. They will serve him one day …
The storm is brewing
As Charles Manson and his disastrous “family” prepare to traumatize America, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood follows the jolts of a declining actor. Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio, excellent), a kind of Steve McQueen who would have missed the step of the star system after In the name of the law, never separates from his stunt double Cliff Booth (formidable Brad Pitt). In this ninth film by Tarantino, the two actors form a great cinema duo. Hawaiian shirt, suede moccasins and stuntman’s quickdraw from it all, Brad Pitt has become DiCaprio’s factotum, in addition to being his friend. While Rick Dalton feels sorry for himself, his pal Cliff walks his “Cool attitude” in a solar and dusty Los Angeles. But Storm Manson is brewing!
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Very successful, much deeper than it seems, the film is swept away by waves of melancholy. But beware, with Tarantino, nostalgia is not expressed as with other filmmakers. It is always accompanied by raptus as fierce as they are unexpected. This is also the salt of the Tarantinian rewrite of the assassination of Sharon Tate on August 9, 1969. His fantasized rereading of this savage murder exudes a poisonous breath here. And what until then looked like his Cinema Paradiso then takes on the appearance of a highway to hell.