Cannes 2019 isn’t over yet but the festival’s biggest story is and will likely continue to be Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time …in Hollywood. So the Cannes love affair with QT continues. They adore him there and, apparently, since the reviews have been outstanding so far, he’s delivered on the Croisette once again.
Once Upon a Time …in Hollywood is, in part, a nostalgia piece about the end of a Hollywood era, a golden era. Seeing QT at the Palais the other night, flanked by two golden boy movie stars, that too felt like a throwback, a throwback to a time when Hollywood wasn’t being openly challenged over representation and inclusion, to expand its storytelling beyond what they tried to believe was what audiences wanted to see. Until, of course, at the press conference the next day, a reporter from The New York Times asked Quentin about Margot Robbie’s part in the film (Sharon Tate), and why she doesn’t get very much dialogue. His response:
He then sat there with a salty face, leaving Margot to handle the situation – which she did with aplomb, naturally.
“I did feel like I got a lot of time to explore the character without dialogue. Rarely do I get an opportunity to spend so much time on my own as a character.”
A woman having to answer for a man: throwback AND still the same old, same same.
Quentin Tarantino had just come off a night of standing ovations; he’s been embraced, the critics were high on his film, and they had to have known that going into the presser – and then he gets one question, a fair one, about the lead actress’s lines, and instead of taking time, as an auteur, to share his artistic vision, which is what the f-cking press conference is for (!), he misses the opportunity to talk about the gift of cinema, a visual medium, where so much can be conveyed without words, where story can be advanced with expression and movement instead of dialogue. You don’t have to have a degree in film studies to know that acting also happens between the words and what’s frustrating about this particular situation is that QT is a screenwriter who’s known for his words, who is FAMOUS for his words – so his decision, in this case, to scale back on the words and focus, as Margot says, on feeling without words, to depart, if you will, from his signature, is actually an interesting choice! It’s a REALLY interesting artistic choice! In that moment, though, he made the choice to NOT show his work.
More on Once Upon a Time …in Hollywood, and its two male leads, later today. We’re now back to full gossip schedule. Thank you for all your messages yesterday. It is always a last resort, to go dark, but my ma was taken to emergency after a bad reaction to medication before a routine procedure and it was too much for my parents to manage on their own. She was stabilised quickly though and she’s since been discharged so we’re good to go. We really, really appreciate your patience and understanding and are so grateful that you make this site part of your routine.
Yours in gossip,