Once upon a time there was Hollywood – is this a last hurrah?


Once upon a time there was Hollywood – is this a last hurrah?

The Golden Globes showed that film studios can still compete against the might of Netflix – for now

Robbie Collin

In the old days Hollywood had little to lose in its annual awards race: whoever was victorious, the winner was invariably Hollywood itself. Yet with Netflix snapping at the studios’ heels more hungrily than ever, and the growing prominence of foreign-language films in the annual mix, that’s no longer obviously the case.

So perhaps it’s little wonder that this year’s Golden Globes sought solace in the full-fat, bygone pleasures of Quentin Tarantino’s freewheeling billet-doux to the business as it used to be.

With three prizes to its name, including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy (the Globes’ sense of genre is famously elastic), Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was the outright winner of Sunday night’s ceremony. Set in 1969, in the twilight of the industry’s golden age, and shot on buttery 35mm film stock rather than hard-edged digital video, Tarantino’s film’s relationship with the past is complex, and contains many more shades than rose-tint. But its fond period recreation of Los Angeles – the swinging pool parties, flickering restaurant signs, midday cocktails at Musso & Frank’s – must have been a balm to Globes voters in these disrupted, destabilised times...

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