With Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt in tow, Quentin Tarantino unveiled his latest opus at the Cannes film festival on May 21.
“Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” is a story about movie magic and acting pains, with Tarantino urging journalists prior to the screening not to spoil any of the plot points.
Set in the late 1960s and doffing its cap to the Spaghetti Westerns of the time, “Once Upon A Time in Hollywood” was one of the most hotly anticipated premieres at Cannes, not least because it only made it to the competition at the last minute.
At the end of the movie, the first reviews were divided. Some critics were enthused by the inclusion of Tarantino’s usual cinema ingredients.
Indeed, the movie captures the essence of the ’60s, and the interplay between DiCaprio and Pitt is as terrific as you might expect when two cinema giants are on screen.
On the other hand, the film is very long, and it’s only in the second half that we’re introduced to the crimes of Charles Manson. The ending, though, contains a signature surprise from Tarantino.
In the Q&A following the screening, Brad Pit said the movie is about the accepting yourself, referring to the central character of Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), and actor whose fame is declining.
Tarantino also said the movie touches on the “loss of innocence” in California during the 1960s.
The film-maker, who once suggested he was too focused on movie-making to marry, said on Wednesday that his recent wedding to Israeli singer Daniella Pick had made him “take stock” from a different perspective.
After unveiling “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” in Cannes, Tarantino and the cast were asked whether the film — about an actor worried he is becoming a has-been — had made them look differently at their own lives and careers.
“I can honestly say that my taking stock is different than it would have been three years ago, four years ago or even 10 years ago,” Tarantino, 56, told a news conference.
“I just got married six months ago … I’ve never done that before and now I know why. I was waiting for the perfect girl.”
Pick, 35, was sitting in the room. She has accompanied Tarantino on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival in recent days, and also has a role in his new movie.
The film, set in Hollywood in the late 1960s, stars Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio and received warm praise from critics following its Tuesday evening premiere.
Tarantino said in a 2009 interview that when he was making a film, it took precedence over everything else in his life, one of the reasons he had never married.
“When I’m doing a movie, I’m not doing anything else. It’s all about the movie. I don’t have a wife. I don’t have a kid. Nothing can get in my way,” he was quoted as saying in GQ magazine.
Reuters contributed to this report.