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First Reactions: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood


Love him or hate him, it’s hard to ignore Quentin Tarantino. The man has a knack for grabbing your attention, and he did just that when the trailer for his much-anticipated 9th film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood dropped early yesterday morning. The trailer contains the type of swagger and coolness, we usually associate with Tarantino’s films, and it certainly doesn’t hurt to have it being headlined by arguably two of the biggest stars in the world Leonardo DiCaprio, and Brad Pitt. I mean we haven’t seen this type of star calibre since Pacino and DeNiro teamed up for Heat.

The film itself showcases DiCaprio’s Rick Dalton, a western TV star, and his stunt double Cliff Booth played by Pitt, in various locals in and around Hollywood. We also meet some real life figures including Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate, Damon Herriman’s Charles Manson, and Mike Moh’s Bruce Lee who seems to be having a bit of fun fighting with Pitt.

Although it’s difficult to decipher any sort of plot, the trailer does a good job showing off the 60s aesthetic in a pastiche sort of way. It definitely puts you in that familiar setting of watching a late 1960s film, with images of Pitt driving down a glittering street at night, DiCaprio shaking his hips on what looks to be some American Bandstand type show, and Robbie dancing in front of a psychedelic backdrop. It ends on a somewhat humourous note with DiCaprio’s character being complemented on his acting ability by a small child, after which he looks extremely moved as he says under his breath “Rick fuckin Daltin”.

Although the film has already garnered controversy as it intends to allude to the real life murder of Sharon Tate by the Charles Manson family, the trailer doesn’t give much indication as to how that fits into the overall plot. There has already been speculation that Tarantino might mess with history in this film as he did with Inglorious Basterds, where he killed off Hitler in a movie theatre. Might he do the same for Manson and his family? Maybe Sharon Tate lives to have a successful film career. Who knows? The trailer has certainly made it enticing to find out, and knowing Tarantino, he definitely won’t make it boring.


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