manda’s review published on Letterboxd:
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a completely different pace for Quentin Tarantino and it's one of his best pieces yet.
As he always does, he sets the tone of the film using Rick Dalton's (Leonardo DiCaprio) footage from his western television show. He instantly transports us to that era and took the audience on a journey.
Normally his runtimes feel dragged out BUT the reason this film kept you engaged was the preconceived expectation of the Manson murders. This film was a bit more tame than the rest of his filmography but he still managed to keep his signatures throughout. When I mean a bit tame, I mean there isn't violence plastered across the screen.
If you're a cinema lover like me, then you're going to fall in love with this movie. Tarantino praised every aspect of the film industry in that era and was so meticulous that it felt like a fairytale. Robert Richardson used such warm tones and he made LA as dreamy as possible.
The reason it's called "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" is because it's a story about filmmakers and their everyday lives. Whether they're old agents, washed up actors or newcomers, everyone had a story and everyone wanted to see their name in lights.
The reason this film worked so well was because of the dynamic duo of Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt. Their characters of Rick Dalton (washed up actor + alcoholic) and Cliff Booth (a very flawed stuntman) were written so well and they both had great chemistry, which made it so much fun. They both owned the screen in their own way and DiCaprio's Rick Dalton moved in and out of different character's effortlessly!
The most beautiful part of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is the portrayal of Sharon Tate. The story wasn't supposed to be about her but Margot Robbie was absolutely lovely as Tate, that we were just waiting to see more of her. Again, it was the day in the life of a upcoming actress and her hopefulness of becoming a star pulled on the heartstrings. Tarantino made sure to honour her spirit and he did it so beautifully!
This is one of the best movies of the year because it will just transport you to that era. Tarantino integrated so many films and references that you will definitely need a second watch to let it all set in!