Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Antonio Banderas Defends Director Quentin Tarantino

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Antonio Banderas Defends Director Quentin Tarantino

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood director Quentin Tarantino has been criticised for several reasons but Antonio Banderas defends him. See the details below.

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie in lead roles, was released worldwide on 26th July 2019.  The comedy-drama film -- which is based in the 1960s and is said to be a love letter to Hollywood -- has been criticised for its depiction of women, its portrayal of martial arts legend Bruce Lee and, for Sharon Tate’s role (played by Margot) and limited screen time/dialogue. Quentin has responded angrily to these criticisms and even told a journalist, “I reject your hypothesis,” when she questioned him about Margot’s role.

However, Quentin’s Desperado co-star Antonio Banderas has spoken in the director’s defence. He said, “I think an artist should be free. Then people should be free to agree or disagree. You have the freedom to continue watching his movies or not. [You can say] ‘I will never go and see a movie from Tarantino again’. Or ‘I love his movies and I’m gonna go and see them again’. I think we should respect that freedom.”

Antonio did not address any of the criticisms directed at Quentin but simply defended his artistic right and freedom to make his own choices while directing the film. “There are sometimes things in art that, I have to tell you, they bother me... but I will never, never, never censor them,” he added.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has drawn mixed reactions but is performing well at the box office and many critics have also praised Quentin’s work, with the film receiving rave reviews at the Cannes film festival and an 85% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. One critic wrote in the Esquire, “For the first time you see Tarantino — perhaps because of where he is in his own life, a man in his fifties — bringing unexpected, deep, rich feelings to his film and to his characters."

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By Ayesha Hoda
Ayesha Hoda is a senior communications professional and writer, currently based in Dubai, UAE.