Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (the movie where Leonardo DiCaprio kills Nazis with a flamethrower, and Brad Pitt plays his stuntman) enjoyed a Cannes debut earlier this week. In the process, the director grew “visibly upset” about criticism of Margot Robbie’s limited speaking presence, which he defended in terms of her being “an angelic ghost” in the movie, which is the story of the days leading up to her murder by the Manson family. Well, critics have noticed that not only does Robbie not do much talking, but multiple cast members were trimmed from the Cannes cut.
Yes, it seems that the vast ensemble cast was perhaps too vast. As reported by IndieWire, the roles played by Tim Roth, Danny Strong, James Marsden, and James Remar all ended up on the cutting room floor once Tarantino and editor Fred Rasken trimmed the film for an audience-friendly Cannes cut, which landed at 2:39. Tarantino explained to the outlet, though, how he’s considering going back in to add some length:
“I may make it longer. I wouldn’t take anything else out. I’m going to explore possibly putting something back in. If anything, I wanted to go to Cannes too short. if I’m going to err, I’m going to err on too tight.”
Raskin’s first cut of the movie weighed in at 4:10, which probably would have cut the customary Cannes QT standing ovation in half. At least! And Raskin noted that that their Cannes goal was 2:45, so they passed that goal and kept on going, but it’s not surprising that Tarantino wants to fluff the movie back up if possible. He did so in the case of 2009’s Inglorious Bastards. Yet QT certainly doesn’t take his edits for this festival (where he won the coveted top award, Palme d’Or, for Pulp Fiction in 1994) lightly. A few weeks ago, Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux told the Associated Press that the auteur “has not left the editing room in four months.” The effort earned him a seven-minute standing ovation this week, which is actually shorter than his usual Cannes audience response. Maybe that’s more motivation for tweaks.
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood arrives in theaters on July 26, so if QT wants to make adds, he’s running out of time to do it.