Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★

To some extent, a majority of Tarantino's work has reveled in self-indulgence but this is ridiculous. This is such a strange experience, there's a lot of his idiosyncrasies that are pretty restrained while others are taken to an unbelievable extreme. Has that sense of drawn-out dialogue but with most other Tarantino films there's a sense of tension that warrants it, while here it feels like a massive amount of meandering. Its not even the dialogue that feels bloated, for all the stylistic flourish this films moves at a snail's pace. This is especially weird because much of Tarantino's filmography is paced deliberately, even my favorites of his, but this just felt completely unnecessary. And once it all builds to its climax, it just falls apart. I wouldn't have minded if Tarantino wanted to just make a straight-up plotless buddy comedy but the addition of the Manson murders plot just don't weave together at all. And again, this is the style he's known for with being subversive, but it doesn't lead to anything all that interesting for the characters. There some stellar performances and the production/costume design is top-notch, but this film feels self-indulgent and obnoxious to the max. I will say there are some disarming moments of sincerity in this film but they are pretty brief and are mostly overshadowed by its overall awkward flow. There was a lot I was concerned about going in, especially in regards to the portrayal of the Manson murders, but I'm surprised most of my issues come from an editing and overall pacing standpoint. This might be one of the biggest disappointments so far this year, possibly the biggest for me.

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