Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★★½

Watched this time in glorious 4K UHD, about as close as I’ll get to 35mm at the Cineramadome while at home. My review has not changed, so instead I’ll just name a few things I enjoyed or thought about on this particular watch:

1. The movie really hammers home how deep the gulf can be between fantasy and reality. With hindsight, the Great Escape insert shot is the tip-off for QT going for that, as the alternate reality of Dalton maybe having McQueen’s career is juxtaposed with Dalton talking to the guy who’s gonna kick his ass in fiction. Cliff tells himself a tale about kicking Bruce Lee’s ass on set, but Cliff drives a fading star’s car and Bruce Lee is still beloved today. And it all comes together at the end, when we realize just how deep that gulf really can be.

2. I truly enjoy Trudi Fraser calling Rick “Caleb” while comforting him, not breaking character if she can. Speaking of which, one wonders if Tarantino might stick around long enough to give Julia Butters the career he gave Trudi Fraser in his novelization of this deal.

3. It’s been pointed out by many, but watching Sharon Tate mimic her on-screen stunt work while watching herself in The Wrecking Crew (I will again note Tate’s recollection of Lee as generous and kind as juxtaposition to Cliff’s recollection of him as a loudmouth he bested in combat) is really wonderful and sweet.

4. There’s a surprising amount of stock footage in this. It’s more noticeable the more you watch it!

5. It’s still a truly great movie to me, wistful and nostalgic and clear eyed enough to know it’s being wistful and nostalgic and the ultimate “what’s better than guys being dudes” flick, with a true love of Sharon Tate that radiates off the screen no matter how many lines Margot Robbie has. I gotta get me Dalton’s hi-fi setup.

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