I've been avoiding any and all details about Quentin Tarantino's new and ninth film, Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood, like the plague. I haven't even watched the new trailer—I wanna go in cold and pure, baby! And that definitely means muting any and all details the Cool Kids at Cannes are tweeting for clout vis-à-vis their first impressions of the movie. But I'm also human, and there are some details I simply cannot ignore. Like, say, conflicting reports of just how long the reportedly ridiculously long standing ovation for Once Upon a Time actually ran. Six minutes or seven?! If you timed it close enough to mark it as over five then how can anyone be off on a 60-second margin? If it was only six, does that mean the movie's more of a Hateful Eight than Kill Bill Vol. 2?
Regardless, a super-long ovation is supposed to be some awesome indicator of just how awe-inspiringly, breathtakingly, hot-damn-that-boy-QT-done-did-it-again fire this movie is. The idea of humans clapping in concert for anything longer than 75 seconds is all gravy when it's from a news report. But when we're able to watch people clap for five times that length, it's clear just how fucking awkward and bizarre it is. It's so weird it borders on self-parody. It's something you'd expect to see in a Quentin Tarantino film lampooning Hollywood. But it gets weirder, thanks to this maverick cameraman determined to make the experience as uncomfortable as possible for QT and his cast. Whoever this cameraman is, give him the Palme d'Or for Trolling while he still has a job; this is art. And art demands introspection. Please find a GIF breakdown of everyone's understandably cringe-worthy reaction below.
The first wave
LMAO at the Leo hair fix, I feel him.
"It's still going, what do we do?"
Tarantino's desperation over what to do with himself is creeping in. And in his flailing, we have the cast dap. Please note that Mr. Pitt gets a handshake. But one does not simply formal-handshake the leader of the Pussy Posse, the Baron of 1Oaks across the nation. No, you dap that man, with as much flair as your white ass can put on it.
Dakota Fanning (0:38-0:55)
Dakota might be the mole here. I think she knows my man behind the lens. She's the only one reacting to this like it's not torture—instead, she breaks almost as if she's playing a staring contest with dude.
Margot Robbie (0:58-1:12)
Again, I haven't been reading shit about OUATIH. But according to the headlines, Margot Robbie/Sharon Tate isn't in the movie as much as people figured she might—or should—be? And apparently, Quentin snapped on a reporter who dared ask why? I will accept no slander on this movie until I've seen it with my own eyes and Complex didn't fly me out to France. And YET...is there some kind of shame, or disavowal lurking underneath Margot's demeanor here? I'm reading Sally-Goldberg-after-the-theater-showcase vibes of embarrassment about her performance. Like maybe she agrees it's weird that she's not in it much or feels a way about however Tarantino depicts the Sharon Tate murder, and this ovation is too much and too long for her to go along with. Or, there's a total lurk shoving a huge lens in her face with zero regards for her personal space and her patience is wearing thin.
Leonardo Di—not so fast! (1:15-1:18)
My son Leo is SO relieved here when Lurch the Camera Operator passes him by. Not so fast, Mr. Posse President. Your time is coming.
Brad Pitt (1:19-1:38)
Brad gets the longest gaze of the video by at least two seconds, allowing him ample time to run the full gamut of emotions. I wouldn't be surprised if he has the best performance in the movie, he certainly has the best performance here. Can he get a Palme for this? I'm moved. Watch as his smile slowly fades and his mind wanders—these are Don Draper levels of professional success doing absolutely nothing to keep the personal demons at bay. What Frank Ocean song was in his head right then? "Seigfried" maybe? "I'm not brave!" Brad thinks to himself, as his peers clap their hands numb. I'm going to say a prayer for him tonight.
Quentin Tarantino (2:00-2:12)
It was in this very moment that Quentin Tarantino remembered why he hasn't made a movie in four years. (Is that a White Walker behind him??) How much bread is QT going to wire Michael Madsen to break this camera guy's legs?