CANNES – Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” had a paparazzi-worthy reception last night with many highlighting it as his best film since “Kill Bill.” After a night of celebrating, Tarantino was joined by his stars Margot Robbie, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt for the official Cannes press conference. And it’s not every day you have two of the world’s biggest movie stars sitting on a dais together.
“There were incredible ease and comfort getting to work alongside Brad,” DiCaprio says. “We kind of grew up in the generation, got our start around the same time. And, to be honest, Quentin gave us this incredible back story for our characters. He literally came to us with a bible of their work together, their friendship together, what they have been through the industry, how they are now on the outskirts in this new era of Hollywood. And all that sort of fed into this immediate comfort and ease that think he and I had with each other. I mean, look, Brad not only a terrific actor, but he’s also a professional. So, when Quentin puts you in these improvised scenarios and we both sort of have a great foothold on our history and our characters I have to say it was incredibly easy. Incredibly easy working with Brad and I think we forged a great cinematic bond in a film about our industry together.”
“I had a great laugh with him,” Pitt adds. “It’s that thing knowing you have the best of the best on the opposite side of the table holding up the scene with you. There is a great relief in that. As Leo said, We have the same reference points. We have been going through this at the same time. Similar experiences to laugh about it. I hope we do it again, it was great fun.”
CANNES, France — On Tuesday, Quentin Tarantino returned with a bang and much critical love to the Cannes Film Festival with “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” his finest in years. A dream of a movie, it follows a handful of Hollywood types living in smoggy, starry Los Angeles in 1969, the year the Manson family went on a frenzied murder spree. Among the victims was the actress Sharon Tate, then married to Roman Polanski. In Tarantino’s Hollywoodland, Tate and Polanski live next door to Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), a struggling, self-doubting TV actor. His best friend is Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), a stuntman whose glory days are probably behind him. Rick could be another Clint Eastwood; Cliff should have been another Steve McQueen.
On Wednesday afternoon, I sat down for a brief chat with Pitt and DiCaprio in a suite at the Carlton Hotel, one of the grand hotels overlooking the Mediterranean. The two were in the midst of a massive publicity operation that day, giving interview after interview. Presenting a movie at Cannes can be big business and the army of Sony Pictures employees handling this offensive had the air of people worried about fumbling the most delicate of rarities. Their famous charges, by contrast, seemed wholly relaxed. Each man was affable, direct and seemed happy to talk, but, then, they have been in the business a long time. They know how to do this.
Some quotes from the Cannes Once press conference:
Can you take stock on your life now and your life from the past?
BRAD PITT: I see Rick and Cliff as one individual. It really comes down to the acceptance of your life, your place, your surroundings, your challenges and troubles. In Rick we see someone who’s put upon in life. Life’s against him and they are some of the best breakdown scenes I’ve ever seen from my friend Leo here. In Cliff we see a character who accepts his lot in life and takes it as it comes.
Did you discuss with Polanski about dealing with tragedy in your film?
PITT: What the film so beautifully addresses is a loss of innocence. In 1969 when the Manson murders occurred there was this free love movement, a lot of hope and new ideas floating out there. Cinema was being recalibrated when that tragic loss of Sharon and the others happened. What scared people lasts so much today. It was a sobering look at the dark side of human nature.
“Twenty-five years after premiering “Pulp Fiction” in Cannes, Quentin Tarantino returned to the French film festival with neither great vengeance nor furious anger but a gentler fairy tale about 1960s Los Angeles.”
“Despite the ghoulish premise and sprawling canvas (no expense was spared in recreating Vietnam-era L.A.), the film is more of a character study than some of Tarantino’s recent works. It is, in some respects, a meditation on the ephemeral nature of talent and a cautionary tale for artists who find themselves out of step with the times. It’s unclear how commercial that will prove, something that could be worrisome for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s” backers, given the film’s hefty price tag. It also should be noted that nearly every film at Cannes earns an ovation. That type of audience response doesn’t always translate into rapturous reviews.”
“When reports first came out in July 2017 that Tarantino’s next project would be a film about the Manson Family, a 1960s cult who went on a killing spree, Weinstein was still involved. Three months later, the New York Times published detailed allegations of Weinstein’s extended history of sexual assault, triggering one of the biggest scandals in Hollywood history, and soon thereafter Tarantino cut ties with his former mentor.
It’s therefore inevitable that Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will be judged in light of Tarantino’s newfound independence. Disappointingly, the director’s first post-Weinstein film is strikingly bland.”
Quentin Tarantino is in my face. He’s smiling, polite. But still, in my face. Nose-to-nose like.
“Listen,” he says, and he starts fast-twirling his index finger in a tight circle, like he’s winding dental floss around it. “I’ve come up with a few questions that could be really good for you to ask.”
His voice is hushed, conspiratorial, but since this is Tarantino, it’s also stage-whisper loud. And naturally, the words tumble out of his mouth with an urgency I would, in any other encounter, describe as Tarantino-esque. But in this case, that’s redundant.
We’re on the patio of a house in the Hollywood Hills. A minute earlier, I was alone under the eaves, looking at Tarantino, Brad Pitt, and Leonardo DiCaprio standing near the pool, all of Los Angeles unspooling into the horizon behind them. For a moment, I found myself staring at the three of them, thinking, Well, damn. Don’t exactly see this every day.
I’m waiting for them to finish being photographed so that we can talk about how they came together to make Tarantino’s new movie, Once Upon a Time in. . . Hollywood, and what they learned through that creative process. Today will be the first time all three of them have been in the same room since they wrapped production in November. For the past six months, Tarantino has been racing to finish cutting the film, to premiere it at Cannes. Still, he found time to phone me two days ago, to give me some backstory on the film’s development. Yet it seems since then, he’s also had time to think about what we could discuss.
“But here’s something important,” he says. “I don’t want it to seem like you are asking a question.”
Read more. It is an amazing (long) interview with a beautiful new photoshoot featuring Brad, Leonardo DiCaprio and Quentin Tarantino! I am excited. Be sure to pick up your copy! If you are able to scan it for SimplyBrad.com, please email me :)
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Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio on the set of ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’
The film — starring Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie — is set to hit theaters in July.
Columbia Pictures has released a new trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
The film tells the story of stars Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio’s respective characters, Cliff Booth and Rick Dalton, as they try and navigate an evolving Los Angeles as the city and its starry inhabitants enter the early 1970s. Tarantino — who serves as the film’s director, producer and writer — describes it as “a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood.”
Tarantino is at the Cannes Film Festival to premiere Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and shared a plea on social media Monday asking Cannes audiences not to spoil the project’s twists and turns.