This Summer I got to go to Hollywood. I've had an obsession with Hollywood and the art of filmmaking and the icons surrounded by it since I was a kid so to be able to see the Chinese Theatre and the El Capitan in all its glory was a super emotional experience for me. A cool thing that happened that day was the fact that also got to go through the Universal Hollywood Backlot Tour. One of the places we toured was actually the western set up for Bounty Law and they talked about filming those scenes there and the fact that the film was doing really well at festivals.
The month after I was back home in The Ozarks (I mentioned that since Brad Pitt shouted us out last night at The Golden Globes) I saw the film with one of my friends. When I saw the Bounty Law set come to life and realize I got to see that set with my own eyes, I got surprisingly emotional. I was just so excited because it made me feel like I had gotten that close to Hollywood as cheesy as it sounds. I had a blast the whole movie and this was easily my favorite movie of the Summer. This is a Summer where Toy Story 4 blew past my expectations and fears and I found Avengers Endgame to be super satisfying. This film though- this is the one that stayed with me. It was my constant soundtrack in my car as I drove around the whole Summer and I could' get this movie out of my mind. I even have the poster for it in my room.
This is a lot of praise coming out of me who has a pretty love hate relationship with Tarantino and his filmography as a whole. I've discussed before that I'm lukewarm on Pulp Fiction and I downright dislike Reservoir Dogs. I guess when people hyped up Pulp Fiction or me this is the type of movie I was expecting to watch. This movie is just so endlessly fun and witty throughout. I absolutely love the characterizations in this film. Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth are such amazing characters in cinema and their bond and friendship gives Once Upon a Time in Hollywood more warmth then Tarantino's usual films.
Dalton and Booth are both incredibly shallow and even problematic individuals in the way Tarantino's characters usually are. Yet, these characters are charming and I wanted to see them succeed because I started to really care for their pursuits. I felt like I got to know them and the film is very slow and deliberate for us to feel like we've spent a day with all these characters and I admire that about it. These characters had heart and the film overall wasn't cynical. It was a movie that was about hope and the longing for a different era- a different way for things to had gone and I can't help but get choked up everytime this one ends.
I'm such a movie fan. Not just the movies itself, but the life outside the film and the era surrounded by them. It's something I've read, watched and daydream constantly about. When I visited Hollywood last Summer, the one thing I was really let down by is how dirty it was. I kept a hold of my wallet the whole time walking Sunset Boulevard. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood shows Hollywood in its brightest and most awe inspiring. The scene where Cliff is driving through Hollywood with music blaring and passes by the drive thru where his little trailer is just one of my favorite sequences of film I've seen in ages. It makes me so giddy to see the place on screen look that nice and inviting.
The film rewrites history in the way Inglorious Basterds does. In the end we get the retribution these cruel and evil hippies deserved and the luminous Sharon Tate survives. The Manson Murders and the death of Sharon Tate is something Tarantino has said really made him angry and disturbed. It's one of those things that ended this era in Hollywood. Was Hollywood ever a squeaky clean place? Never. The insanity that happens in this film proves that. Yet, it always came across as the place for the dreamers to make art and say something. After the Manson Murders, the evil and scum of Hollywood was exposed for what it is and we will never see it the same way again. Yet, Tarantino with this film was able to show us an era of blissful ignorance. It shows us the realities of some of the true evil in the movie industry, but it also shows the true love we all share for cinema today.
The scene where Sharon Tate walks into the movie theatre for Wrecking Crew, a movie she starred in and puts her feet on the seat in front of her and just waits for people to respond to the film and her performance. She smiles and laughs along and you can see it in her face right then, the love she has for film. That one moment where you realize you have made it as a talent and people appreciate you. It is a moment of pure joy only some of my favorite movies can bring me. To quote Keanu Reeves, "Gosh, I love movies."