Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, a friend wanted to see a movie – I was reluctant to go to a Tarantino film.  Thought it would be something gross, as per usual.

But it wasn’t.

Once Upon A Time in Hollywood is a cinematic masterpiece.  A chick-flick disguised as a bromance.

From what I understand no CGI was used in the making of the transformation to fifty years ago.  The art direction, set designs and costuming were all spot-on.

The story is so clever.  It is one of those cinéma-vérité thing-a-ma-bobs, where real people are interspersed with the fictionalized ones not to enhance the biography – rather to create a new history.

I am a firm believer that anyone can create their own reality.  Anyone can become anything they want to be, if only they can figure out how to channel the positive energy to get themselves there.  It is a combo of physical and emotional strength of character and it is so doable, well, because you can ask anyone how they got to where they are today and they can pretty much tell you.

Oh, sure, there were the wonky bits – the personal ups and downs of life.  Financial hardships, illness, dumb stuff, but adults tend to sweep that stuff under the rug (often with self-deprecating humor), kind of like – it’s all part of the fun of having this human experience.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, am I right?

I am strongly against re-hashing old history (sorry, social studies teachers and history buffs). It doesn’t serve anyone to remind people of tragedies, especially people who have never even heard of stuff, like my students who have no idea what “9/11” means.  Certainly, many don’t know Charles Manson.  My twenty-something hairdresser didn’t.

So, this beautiful story takes that history and gives it the Tarantino twist.  It’s fearless. Seamless.  It is exquisite, really.  You get to know the characters so well.  And they make sense to who they are and the choices that they make.  That is what I love.  Because you see their quirks, flaws, etc. and you still fall in love with them.  They are heroes.

Sharon Tate – no one can tell us what she was really like (i.e. what was going on inside her head) and so, she is depicted as an easy-going fun-loving California girl.  She doesn’t have a lot of screen time or lines and that makes sense to me.  She is just the neighbor and what do we know about our neighbors’ lives?  For all intents and purposes, she was an amazing person who did not deserve to be murdered in such a brutal way.

So, thank you, Quentin Tarantino, for giving us this artistic experience, this love-letter to Hollywood, this new reality that we can pretend to believe, that leaves us feeling uplifted – unless we are a bunch of dirty hippies in which case – sorry, Charlie.


Once Upon a Time in Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie.  The film is currently in theaters.  Check your local listings for venues and times. <3



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