Revisiting Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (2019)

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I make a point of never rewatching movies that I’ve already reviewed for this blog. I ain’t got time for that–too many other movies I still need to see! But as a part of my master’s thesis project, I’m doing a paper on the power of storytelling (and cinematic storytelling specifically) and one movie that came to mind as a good one to study was Quentin Tarantino’s latest that came out earlier this year, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. After a second, more intentional watch I somehow came away both with a greater appreciation for the film as well as a greater disgust for it (the infamous climax in particular) and found myself in the unique situation of no longer feeling satisfied with one of my earlier reviews (from only a few months ago at that!). Perhaps once my paper comes together I’ll elaborate more on some of the positive and critical insights I think I gained, but in the meantime, feel free to check out my revised review below (or click here to see my original post updated to include both the old and new reviews):
On first blush it’s nicely crafted but its one compelling arc (Rick’s disillusionment/friendship with Cliff) is squashed by a bevy of boring referential scenes disconnected from the shocking but empty climax. Upon closer inspection, many delightful details emerge to reveal a fascinating web of narratives meta-commenting on storytelling and identity–yet they also make plain the film’s ugly misogyny, misguided revisionism, and gross glorification of cowboy violence, especially in the climax.
7/10 (Good)

 

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