While a mainstay in the “Best Original Screenplay” category, Quentin Tarantino has yet to win an Oscar for “Best Director” or “Best Picture” in his career. Could this year finally be his chance? Oddsmakers seem to think so in early predictions.
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is currently the favorite to win the big Oscar at the 2020 award ceremony. And while a lot of the Oscar bait is typically released later in the year, this begs the question: Could this finally be his year?
The much proclaimed “love letter to Hollywood” certainly has its charm along with heaping amounts of technical skill. This is Tarantino’s most mature film, with a much more casual flow of dialogue littered throughout. Not everything is as grandiose or blatant with many scenes coming off as a bit trivial or even monotonous at times. But Tarantino always has a plan and even when the dialogue slows or comes to a stop (during many moments of Brad Pitt simply driving through the Hollywood Hills) we’re still enamored by the sheer wonder of the landscape. Tarantino plays with sunlight and the California nature to really bring out the beauty of the time and place. This is a film which will make you smirk and you won’t even know why. It’s something of a feel-good hangout movie for the first few hours. Think “Dazed and Confused” but with a Tarantino twist.
The acting is superb with Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio acting as co-leads. You love them on screen together but never feel weary when they go on their own individual adventures. They both shine and their friendship is truly the glue which drives the plot. Will they get Oscar nods? Hard to say, as roles that are driven by comedy typically don’t get much love from the Academy. But they both bust out the acting chops without the over-the-top dramatic scene. They are not pushing for an Oscar in their roles and with that sense of freedom the performances pop off the screen.
All in all, the movie will satisfy and delight the Tarantino fans of the world. The typical snappy dialogue, pop-culture references and wicked violent acts are apparent but with a more laid-back, hands off approach. Odds are, it will be pushed out of the spotlight as the big name Oscar-bait movies come out in winter but don’t let that stop you from seeing a great film in the Quentin Tarantino filmography. If you walk out with a smile on your face does a Best Picture Oscar really matter?