"Once Upon a Time in Hollywood"

Everyone I see, I tell them "See this film". I'm not on commission. It doesn't need it. This is the best film I have seen since.. I don't know when. It starred two actors I don't go wild over Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. Sorry, I didn't go wild over. Now they are just the bee's knees.

The film's episodic, funny flashbacks explaining why these two were where they were in LA in 1969. We learn why Brad Pitt is fixing TV aerials rather than doing top notch stunt double work. Well, it's rumoured he killed his wife, and he kicked the shit out Bruce Lee and badly dented a Rolls Royce which was owned by the wife of the man who hired him.

It was a fun film with heart, a love of glamour and some scenes of real poignancy. The two DiCaprio scenes with the 8 year old brought tears to his eyes and mine. And the pastiche of the 50's TV Western and DiCaprio's realisation that that rich seam is exhausted: except he draws out of his character the best acting he ever did in his last Californian Western with that beautiful 8 year old.

The soundtrack was ace; fabulous late 60's stuff. That most underrated group Tommy James and the Shondells  featured. And the skinny young women with sex in their eyes: how did Brad Pitt resist?

O.K. I'm not an objective reviewer. The film for me, reinforced those memories I have of 1969, when I was young and green, yet these characters were not that. They were at the tail end, yet somehow it didn't matter. They were hippier than any of the hippies in Haight Ashbury and more violent than anything in the late 60's.

I loved almost everything about the film, Sharon Tate and her visit to the movies to see herself playing opposite Dean Martin and getting a real kick when the audience cheered at her character. Al Pacino as the wheeler dealer and the dog - he must be up for an Oscar - with his balls aching (and ripping) performance.

One less helpful thought. I absolutely loved the violence. Bruce Lee being knocked down a notch or two. The hippy who,foolishly, knifed Pitt's car's tyres. The mayhem in the house: what with the balls ripping, the head smashing and the flame throwing incineration of one of the Manson hippies. It reminded me of the high I got watching in the early 1970's the violence in  " Clockwork Orange" Maybe the late 60's was drenched in violence and maybe that paradoxically turned on and tuned out my generation of love and peace.


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