Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is one of the most eagerly anticipated cinematic events of 2019. Why? Because it's directed by the one-and-only Quentin Tarantino. The American filmmaker exploded onto the scene with his festival favourite - Reservoir Dogs - in 1992 and with this came the pressure to follow it up with a worthy sophomore effort. Tarantino didn't just follow it up, he made Pulp Fiction, one of the most acclaimed and iconic films of the nineties. The 1994 film won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and saw its director heralded as one of the most exciting current filmmakers of the time.
Over the years, he has released hit after hit, becoming one of the most popular filmmakers of the last thirty years. He is often regarded as the ultimate movie buff, moulding his projects in the image of the cinema that he adores. You can consider much of his work homage, or a love-letter to his passion, but to do so may sell him a little too short. Despite some criticism of imitation, he is incredibly talented and his body of work is consistently entertaining; Tarantino is an entertainer above all.
Recently, he has channelled his energy into the western genre. The phenomenal and subversive spaghetti-western Django Unchained provided audiences with one of the best films of 2012, and again, he delivered one of the highlights of 2015 with The Hateful Eight. After these two efforts, fans began to speculate whether he would continue to explore the genre or begin to deliver his take on others. The debate was soon settled when Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was announced.
Leonardo DiCaprio (@LeoDiCaprio) January 25, 2019
The director's forthcoming film is set in 1969 Los Angeles and follows an actor and his stunt man aiming to make it within the film industry. Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth will be played by Hollywood heavy-hitters Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt respectively. That's not all; the cast also boasts the likes of Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street), Al Pacino (Scarface), Dakota Fanning (The Runaways), Kurt Russell (Bone Tomahawk) and Luke Perry in his final role. With such a stunning cast and Tarantino at the helm, people are incredibly excited. There's just one niggling detail...
Numerous actors will be taking on the roles of real-life figures, one of which happens to be Charles Manson. Damon Herriman is set to portray the infamous murderer but many have expressed concerns over the way that a director like Tarantino will choose to depict him. Margot Robbie will be portraying Sharon Tate, the former wife of filmmaker Roman Polanski who was killed by Manson's followers while pregnant. It sounds like we can expect Tarantino to depict these events, but will his playful attitude towards violence make this his most controversial effort to date?
As of yet, things are uncertain. He could very well re-write history in the same vein as Inglorious Basterds; however, it's doubtful he'll tackle the subject matter in this way. Sadly, the wounds of Manson's impact are yet to heal for survivors, friends and family of his victims - so, it'll reflect very badly on Tarantino and his film if he chooses to glorify the event or treat the villains in a manner as to make them appear cool. If he does depict the event, it had better not be gratuitous, for his sake.
Fans are still waiting on a trailer, which will hopefully give us more of an indication for the tone he is going for with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It would be a shame if it was released to hostility for his approach to the Manson material. Hopefully, he decides to depict it with sincerity - he is capable after all.
In other news, here's everything you need to know about Hellboy.