Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019) is Tarantino at his gentlest and most reflective, tapping the incredible power of nostalgia and transforming it into some of his most sumptuous imagery. HIs vision of 1960s Hollywood is almost painfully vibrant, colours jumping from the screen as if to scream "This is how beautiful the world can be!"
As Sharon Tate, Margot Robbie is magical, an avatar of the world's beauty, and also of shameless, innocent delight, a woman who loves life, loves people, and loves the world around her with breathtaking sincerity. Tarantino's decision to alter history and therefore preserve Tate seems a determined effort to push psychopathic evil back into Pandora's box, to create a less violent world, paradoxically, by brutally violent means in the hands of the film's two leads, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt as actor Rick Dalton and stuntman Cliff Booth, two men chasing the Hollywood dream before they're too old and worn out to truly seize it. In the better world Tarantino envisions, it seems as though they'll capture those dreams after all, at the 11th hour, just before all hope is lost...just like in the movies.