Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood [SPOILERS]

For the record, I loved Inglorious Basterds although I’m sure I’d have more problems with it 10 years later, but I think the main issue with OUATIH was neatly summarised by Owen Glieberman at Variety:

Yet that movie, as much as it toyed with history (which was no more, really, than any of the late-studio-system World War II movies it drew from), was also, in the largest sense, true to history. Hitler got destroyed, and the Americans won. Which is, in fact, what happened. The way Tarantino plays with the Manson murders in “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” is at once more extreme and more trivial.

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If it had been an hour shorter and directed by someone who doesn’t hate women it might have been an OK film


^ this exactly! Ruined so much of the good will I’d felt for this film. Imo I didn’t find it entertaining in the slightest to see those Manson family members brutalised in that way. Just left a really sour taste which will only increase when I think how smug Tarantino will be about it all.

Quite enjoyed the first two thirds of the film. Probably would have preferred the final act all to have been set whilst they were off filming in Rome…


This is the Studio-interfered-with, directors-name-removed cut of my opinion I think. I like QT and I’ll indulge him more than I should but it was too long and he absolutely does love to smash up a woman.

Something else which occurs to me this morning which didn’t at the time is, I was reading both the leads as something like a pastiche of machismo, but the more I think about it the less irony I think was actually intended.

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Yeah. Looked pretty, Pitt is obviously really good in it but outside of that it did absolutely nothing for me, and then became actively unpleasant.

I think there’s a lot of projection of ideas onto QT to try to justify his excesses as ironic or satirical but there’s really not much basis in his work for those readings

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While that wasn’t my experience, I can’t disagree with this at all. Jack or Miles from The Daily Zeitgeist said (without expressing an actual opinion on the film) “[QT] is definitely an artist, what he does stays with you and you think about it for a long time afterwards” and I think I agree with that, but it cuts both ways.

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It’s a tough one. when the flamethrower comes out, it’s clearly played for laughs and is meant to be OTT. but the character is, unironically, torching a woman to death and we are invited to cheer that on. very conflicted morality.

Also, the Bruce Lee stuff felt very punching down and playing race for laughs. Wince inducing


I can’t get over the hand-wringing response to Lee, and think it’s much more troubling than Tarantino affectionately playing up one of his heroes for laughs. Chaw says it best:


I have to admit to laughing at that scene, but with the exception of the “manslaughter” comeback, it’s not clear what you’re being invited to laugh at.

I have heard stories that Bruce Lee claimed his hands were registered as deadly weapons, and I’ve read that the actor playing him nailed the impression. The former is almost certainly hearsay (as it’s nonsense) but if it’s true then that scene is a lot less racist. without either of those pieces of knowledge then yeah, that scene is dicey AF.

There is so much food for thought in that thread that I’m going to have to take a break and come back for seconds

I dunno. I think you could have a scene where he’s portrayed as arrogant, didactic and hot tempered, loses a fight and it would be fine, but there was something very uncomfortable for me about the way it was played and the direction it all came from.

The misogyny in this is quite something. But if you put that aside (and that’s a big but) the rest of it is terrific.
When Tarantino gets embroiled in some scandal in the future this is the movie where people will say 'of course all the signs were there. ’

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And that’s totally fair - your personal gut instinct or aesthetics basically define if you enjoy something or not, and certainly I have similar reactions in some cases. I just worry about the framing of this particular criticism as something Ideologically Wrong.

To me it played as lovely and fun, but I guess it wouldn’t be QT it it didn’t divide people.


Feel like a big apologist seeing some of the reactions up-thread, and with my response to the Bruce Lee stuff, but I really loved the film. Much less kinetic than what we usually think of as Tarantino’s style - it feels most similar to Jackie Browne I guess.

I did not get the strong women hate vibes some seem to have. Myself and my girlfriend had recently read Helter Skelter, the book about the Manson trial written by the prosecutor, and with that fresh and seeing such a sweet portrayal of Sharon Tate it created a feeling of such dread that we were relieved by the ending. I think there’s no doubt QT hates her killers…

But anyway, we both left the cinema beaming and feeling warm, unexpectedly uplifted. Yeah, it’s yearning for a lost and maybe never really existent world of simple cowboy justice, for immediate and satisfying solutions to nightmarish problems, but it turned out that’s exactly what we wanted.


The Bruce Lee scene, its a recollection from a racist arsehole of the time he kicked Bruce Lee ass. The butt of the joke in that scene is Cliff, its only complicated by Pitts charisma

Heard it’s crap, no interest