Like most of Quentin Tarantino’s movies, his new one, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” is driven by cultural nostalgia. Yet, this time around, Tarantino’s nostalgia is his film’s guiding principle, its entire ideology—in particular, a nostalgia (catnip to critics) for the classic age of Hollywood movies and for the people who were responsible for it, both onscreen and behind the scenes. The movie draws a very clear line regarding the end of that classic age: it’s set in 1969, at a time when the studios were in financial crisis owing to their trouble keeping up with changing times, and its plot involves the event that’s widely cited as the end of an era, the Manson Family killings of Sharon Tate and four others at the house that she shared with her husband, Roman Polanski. The heroism of his Hollywood characters is an idea that Tarantino works out gradually until it bursts forth, in a final-act twist, with a shocking clarity. “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” has been called Tarantino’s most personal film…Read more.

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