The ninth film from Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood boasts a stellar cast including Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio.
And now it also boasts 10 nominations at the Oscars 2020, including Best Picture. But what is Once Upon a Time in Hollywood actually about? And how can you watch it?
Here’s everything you need to know…
- The biggest movie releases of 2020
- Once Upon A Time In Hollywood soundtrack: All the 1960s tunes featured in the movie
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How can I watch Once Upon a Time in Hollywood?
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is now available to watch on Blu-ray and DVD.
The film is also available digitally – you can own or rent the film from Amazon here.
Who is in the cast of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood?
Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt lead the cast as fictional characters Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth. Dalton is the former star of a Western TV series, and Booth is his longtime stunt double.
Despite the two leads being fictional, there actually are some real-life characters in the movie…
Margot Robbie stars as Sharon Tate, an actress and model who was also the wife of director Roman Polanski. Tate was eight and a half months pregnant when she and her unborn son were killed at the hands of the Charles Manson family cult in August 1969.
Robbie has since revealed that she landed the role after sending a letter to Tarantino – she told Vogue how she had once made a pact with herself to get in touch with the director once she thought she was a good enough actress. That moment came after she watched the first cut of I, Tonya – a role which earned her an Oscar nomination.
“I wrote him and said, ‘I adore your films, and I would love to work with you in some capacity. Or any capacity,'” she recalled. Before long she was sat at the director’s kitchen table, reading the script with Tarantino offering her Victoria Bitter – an Australian beer!
The actress appeared with co-stars Pitt and DiCaprio at the film’s Los Angeles premiere in July 2019.
Other actors playing real-life characters include Damon Herriman as Charles Manson, Dakota Fanning and Lena Dunham as his followers, Rafal Zawierucha as Roman Polanski, Bruce Dern as ranch owner George Spahn, Damian Lewis as iconic actor Steve McQueen, Mike Moh as martial arts legend Bruce Lee, Emile Hirsch as Hollywood hairstylist Jay Sebring, Luke Perry (in his final film role) as actor Wayne Maunder and Nicholas Hammond as actor/director Sam Wanamaker.
The star-studded cast also includes Al Pacino as Dalton’s fictional agent Marvin Schwarz, as well as Timothy Olyphant, Clifton Collins, Keith Jefferson, Kurt Russell, Michael Masden and Tim Roth.
What is Once Upon a Time in Hollywood about?
Plot details have been kept largely under wraps for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but Tarantino has previously said that the film will be “a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood.
The two lead characters are Rick Dalton (DiCaprio), former star of a Western TV series, and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Pitt). Both are struggling to make it in a Hollywood they don’t recognise anymore. But Rick has a very famous next-door neighbour… Sharon Tate.”
This latest trailer gives a better idea of the plot, with Dalton worried he’s become a has-been and Pitt’s Booth introduced to Manson and his “family”.
Is Once Upon a Time in Hollywood based on a true story?
Despite the fact that it’s set in Hollywood in 1969 and features real-life characters from that time, the movie is, for the most part, fictional. Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth are Tarantino’s inventions, but they are said to be based on actor Burt Reynolds and stuntman Hal Needham, who were active in that era.
Are there any photos of the cast in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood?
Yes! In this Twitter snap, Robbie is sporting a sixties look in character as Tate, complete with white leather boots.
— Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (@OnceInHollywood) August 6, 2018
And below DiCaprio can be seen in a yellow polo neck and orange suit jacket. To the left is Pitt in double denim and aviators.
— Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (@OnceInHollywood) June 27, 2018
Has Once Upon a Time in Hollywood had good reviews?
For the most part, reviews of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood have been extremely positive. Both The Guardian and The Telegraph awarded the film five stars, with the former’s critic Peter Dowling describing the movie as “shocking, gripping, dazzlingly shot” and “entirely outrageous, disorientating, irresponsible, and also brilliant”.
He added: “Opinions are going to divide about this film’s startling and spectacularly provocative ending, which Tarantino is concerned to keep secret and which I have no intention of revealing here.”
The Telegraph’s Robbie Collin, meanwhile, praised DiCaprio’s performance: “DiCaprio is a riot at making his character talented-ish, sweating, coughing and stammering off-camera, yet delivering the goods – sometimes brilliantly – when action’s called.”
Variety’s Own Gleiberman, meanwhile, said the movie is a “heady, engrossing, kaleidoscopic, spectacularly detailed nostalgic splatter collage of a film” but concluded that Tarantino has created something which “no longer feels even vaguely revolutionary”.
The Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney noted that “the two ambling hours of detours, recaps and diversions that precede the standard climactic explosion of graphic violence are virtually plotless” but praised DiCaprio and Pitt’s performances which were “dripping with self-irony and pleasurable chemistry”.
What is the controversy over the portrayal of Bruce Lee?
Lee is portrayed in the film by actor Mike Moh and is seen challenging Cliff Booth (Pitt) to a fight, with Booth appearing to get the better of him.
The real-life Lee passed away in 1973, but his daughter, Shannon, is unhappy with his depiction in the film. Speaking to the Wrap, she said that he “comes across as an arrogant asshole who was full of hot air, and not someone who had to fight triple as hard as any of those people did to accomplish what was naturally given to so many others.”
She added: “It was really uncomfortable to sit in the theatre and listen to people laugh at my father.”
Tarantino is known to be an admirer of Lee and dressed Kill Bill star Uma Thurman in a replica of the martial arts expert’s yellow jumpsuit in his two films. He is yet to respond to the criticism.
Is there a trailer for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood?
There is indeed. In addition to the trailer posted above, there’s a stylish teaser here…
Ahead of the Cannes Film Festival premiere, a range of fictional, old school posters designed for Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie star character were released. Check them out below.
What’s on the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood soundtrack? When is it released?
The soundtrack for Tarantino’s latest is a bumper one featuring 30-plus songs. The likes of Simon & Garfunkel, Neil Diamond and Deep Purple are included on the list…
1. Treat Her Right – Roy Head & The Traits
2. Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man – The Bob Seger System
Boss Radio feat. Humble Harve:
3. Hush – Deep Purple
4. Mug Root Beer Advertisement
5. Hector – The Village Callers
6. Son of a Lovin’ Man – Buchanan Brothers
7. Paxton Quigley’s Had the Course (from the MGM film Three in the Attic) – Chad & Jeremy
8. Tanya Tanning Butter Advertisement
9. Good Thing – Paul Revere & The Raiders
10. Hungry – Paul Revere & the Raiders
11. Choo Choo Train – The Box Tops
12. Jenny Take a Ride – Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels
13. Kentucky Woman – Deep Purple
14. The Circle Game – Buffy Sainte-Marie
Boss Radio feat. The Real Don Steele:
15. Mrs. Robinson – Simon & Garfunkel
16. Numero Uno Advertisement
17. Bring a Little Lovin’ – Los Bravos
18. Suddenly / Heaven Sent Advertisement
19. Vagabond High School Reunion
20. KHJ Los Angeles Weather Report
21. The Illustrated Man Advertisement / Ready For Action
22. Hey Little Girl – Dee Clark
23. Summer Blonde Advertisement
24. Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show – Neil Diamond
25. Don’t Chase Me Around (from the MGM film GAS-S-S-S) – Robert Corff
26. Mr. Sun, Mr. Moon – Paul Revere & the Raiders (feat. Mark Lindsay)
27. California Dreamin’ – Jose Feliciano
28. Dinamite Jim (English Version) – I Cantori Moderni di Alessandroni
29. You Keep Me Hangin’ On (Quentin Tarantino Edit) – Vanilla Fudge
30. Miss Lily Langtry (cue from The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean) – Maurice Jarre
31. KHJ Batman Promotion
The soundtrack is available to buy now, tying in with the US release date on 26th July, and is available on CD, vinyl and digitally.