I wanted to see Tarantino’s latest film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which takes place in a loving recreation of late-’60s Los Angeles. I knew that it starred one of my favorite actors, Brad Pitt, along with Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie and was set in 1969 at the time of the Manson murders. But that was all. I asked my older son if he was interested to see it and he came along. I was a teenager in last years of high school in 1969 and very clearly remember the Manson murders, as well as later reading a book by the prosecutor who got Manson and his followers convicted and sentenced to death. So I was quite interested to see what Tarantino would make of this material and era. We both thoroughly enjoyed the film, of which more below, but in our discussion after the movie ended, I discovered that we had had two extremely different experiences, as if we were watching two different movies.
Warning: this post will contain major spoilers about the movie “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”. I strongly recommend that you don’t read further if you haven’t seen the movie and intend to. It really will be a much more satisfying movie if you don’t already know the plot.