Once Upon A Time In Hollywood: Everything You Need To Know

The latest on Tarantino’s star-studded movie from the Cannes Film Festival

For several weeks, it looked as if Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Quentin Tarantino’s hotly anticipated ode to the golden age of the silver screen – would not be premiering at Cannes. It was conspicuously absent from the first wave of programme announcements, and industry chatter suggested that, despite the director’s best efforts, the movie just wasn’t ready yet.

And then, a reversal of fortune. The festival’s director Thierry Frémaux revealed that Tarantino – “a real, loyal and punctual child of Cannes!” – would play the film in competition after all, thanks to a breathless four-month stint in the editing-room. Revelling in the afterglow of the movie’s glittering premiere last night, we take stock of everything you need to know about Once Upon a Time.

Photo: Getty

The cast

Margot Robbie joins the previous Tarantino collaborators Leonardo DiCaprio (Django Unchained) and Brad Pitt (Inglourious Basterds) in the central cast. As a meandering portrait of the movie business in 1969, Once Upon a Time also assembles a stellar line-up of supporting players, among them Dakota Fanning and Lena Dunham (as members of the Manson cult); Al Pacino (a sleazy agent); and Luke Perry (portraying an actor in his final role).

Related Article: Leonardo DiCaprio’s Yearbook Photo is Everything You’d Want It To Be

The plot

Tarantino has been very insistent that journalists avoid revealing too many details about what happens – going so far as to post a signed letter on Twitter with the hashtag #NoSpoilersInHollywood – but it’s safe to say that Once Upon a Time is an engrossing tale of broken-down masculinity following the washed-up TV actor Rick Dalton (DiCaprio) and his stuntman/lackey Cliff Booth (Pitt) set in 1969. Robbie enters this layered Tinseltown tapestry as Sharon Tate, while allusions to the Manson cult unfold ominously in the background.

Once upon a time in hollywood

Photo: Getty

The premiere

Once Upon a Time was first screened last night on the 25th anniversary of the Cannes debut of Pulp Fiction, Tarantino’s intoxicating mobster flick that went on to win the Palme d’Or. Understandably, given the A-list talent attached, the director’s ninth feature was the ticket to have this year. Hundreds of attendees requested access to mount the red-carpeted steps with the stars, while dozens of locals stood – hopefully dressed in black tie – waving invite pleas at passersby (and, in one case, intricately drawn portraits of DiCaprio and Pitt on a cardboard box). Queues for the press screening began four and a half hours before the film’s start time, and snaked all the way down the Croisette. A Danish journalist, who has been covering the festival for 21 years, admitted he’d never seen anything like it.

Related article: Cannes Film Festival 2019: All The Fashion

Photo: Andrew Cooper

Tarantino, DiCaprio, Pitt and Robbie were all in attendance at the premiere, along with their co-star Dakota Fanning and her sister Elle (who is serving on the Cannes jury); Timothée Chalamet; and Adrien Brody, among others. The screening also attracted faces from the fashion world, including the models Winnie Harlow, Josephine Skriver and Sara Sampaio. When guests were eventually seated in the Grand Théâtre Lumière, Tarantino received lengthy applause before the movie had started, followed by a seven-minute standing ovation as the credits rolled (during which Tilda Swinton went over and squeezed the director’s hand).

Photo: Andrew Cooper

The reactions

Initial takes for the film have been overwhelmingly positive, with critics filing five-star reviews that have pushed Once Upon a Time to a 100 per cent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. We found it to be Tarantino’s best work in years: an exquisitely crafted film with all of the auteur’s signature wit, charm and sun-drenched nostalgia for the Hollywood movies he grew up on. Its meandering explorations of failing to tap into the zeitgeist – which Rick grapples with in his fading career – seem close to home for Tarantino, making Once Upon a Time a personal character study dripping with lush colours, free-loving hippies and bustling movie sets.

Photo: Andrew Cooper

The release date

Thankfully, UK audiences won’t have to wait too long to catch Once Upon a Time,which arrives in cinemas on 14 August.

Related article: Selena Gomez Stuns In A Silky Louis Vuitton Look On The Cannes Red Carpet

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will be released in Singapore on 15th August 2019. 

 

More From

Life