It’s hard to overstate how much I was looking forward to seeing Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood, the newest (and supposedly last) movie from writer/director Quentin Tarantino. Having been a fan of almost all of his movies, counting more than one as masterpieces, I couldn’t wait to see what he would do with this one, especially when I heard the setting would be Los Angeles in 1969. Yes, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio starring was the big headline for this movie, but, for me, to see Tarantino, a self-proclaimed film geek who spent years working at a video store in Manhattan Beach before becoming one of his generation’s great auteurs, finally making a movie that is an homage to what he really loves—that was something to look forward to. So I avoided all trailers, all articles, all Twitter talk as much as I could before settling in on opening night in a sold-out theatre, apparently filled with people just as excited as I was.
Here’s how much I was looking forward to this movie: when they announced that the running time was going to be a whopping 2 hours and 40 minutes (the average movie these days is about two hours, ten minutes long), I was so happy. For me, it meant getting to spend more time in the world Tarantino was going to create. That’s how optimistic I was.
And that’s how right I was.