Saturday, July 27, 2019

Once upon a Time in Hollywood

After I spent the day working at the hospital in Marysville again, Sharon and I went to a 7:15 pm showing of Once upon a Time in Hollywood at the Country Club Cinema. Given how close it is, this new theater is going to be our destination of choice.

The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern, and Al Pacino. It is written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. The movie is set in Los Angeles in 1969. It portrays an alternate timeline where an aging television actor and his stunt double work to make a name for themselves in the Hollywood film industry.

DiCaprio plays actor Rick Dalton, while Pitt plays Cliff Booth as a war veteran and Rick's longtime stunt double and best friend. Dalton's relationship with Booth is based on that of actor Burt Reynolds and his long time stunt double Hal Needham. DiCaprio's character is modeled on actors like Tab Hunter, Fabian Forte, Ty Hardin and Vince Edwards, who started their career with handsome looks in Classical Hollywood, but had their careers falter in the 1960s after their type of leading men went out of fashion.

When the film finished, Sharon said "I don't know about that..." Without spoiling the plot, her problem with the movie is that the two fictional lead actors wind their way through a number of real life events and ultimately have a big impact on history. Personally, I am a believer in the butterfly effect: a minute localized change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere.

I liked the movie more than I thought that I would. DiCaprio's performance is very good. I wouldn't be surprised to see him nominated for best actor at the 2020 Oscars. I think that the movie also has a chance to be a best picture nominee. At two hours and 40 minutes, the movie is long.

As a footnote, we ran into our neighbors Jill and Mike at the movie...

As a second footnote, the real life closing events of the movie occurred almost exactly 50 years ago.

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