Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)
Quentin Tarantino's revenge-spree on historical wrongdoers continues, but his latest film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood isn't a banal revenge-movie; it's a tour-de-force in zeitgeist celebration and imaginative counterfactual (his)storytelling. Tarantino takes us back to late 1960s Hollywood in a more comprehensive and visually captivating way than has ever been done before in film, and he populates his story with recognizable but fresh Tarantinoesque characters: an about-to-be washed-out B-movie star (Leonardo DiCaprio), his no-nonsense stunt-double and buddy (Brad Pitt), and a record-breaking cast of real and made-up supporting characters whom Tarantino lets float in and out of focus in Altmanesque fashion. The diversity of them is one of the keys to why Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is such an exhaustive motion picture, one that attacks all your senses and facilities at once. The film has a lot to say about both current, past and timeless affairs, but it doesn't express itself as bombastically as some of Tarantino's more recent movies (The Hateful Eight, Inglourious Basterds), rather it adopts a more essayistic tone, mulling over its themes and innuendos with a sexy, seductive assuredness. This is Tarantino's most compelling piece since Pulp Fiction.