Weeping Clown’s review published on Letterboxd:
Un-Tarantinoesque is the word I'd like to use.Who in the world would've thought that of all people, the man known for ruthless violence and bloodbaths would deal with such a delicate and highly sensitive subject in such a beautiful way? Expect the unexpected, that's Quentin Tarantino for you!
I, for one, don't really know much about the real zeitgeist of the Hollywood of late 60s; or about any place for that matter.To be honest, the things I know are the things I've read, and those are merely the viewpoints of others.From what I've read and seen, I can comprehend the movie as nothing but a simple and passionate love letter to the late 60s Hollywood from someone who lived his childhood at that time.
A Rick Dalton who fears that his career will never be any good and a Cliff Booth who don't get the chances that he deserves due to certain reasons, and everyone, OUATIH is probably a very realistic portrayal of the Hollywood of that era.The increased love towards westerns and inception of Sphagetti Westerns in the time period and the influence they made in the lives of actors is pictured very clearly.Tarantino even tries to explain how the violence in screen influences and changes people, kinda funny and thought provoking coming from the man of violence himself.
From the obvious reference to the Leone movies in the title itself to a reference to his own movie, OUATIH is overwhelmed with pop culture references.The characters themselves are a mixture of many famous personalities.Then there's references to classics such as Maltese Falcon, The Great Escape, even Easy Rider.The guest appearances of Rick Dalton in the tv shows are created by substituting him in the place of the real one.The list doesn't stop here, but expands to even the 'Cadillac de Ville', the same car that was used in Reservoir Dogs and Tarantino's own fictional 'Red Apple Cigarettes'.
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood isn't the greatest film Tarantino made, agreed.But it's the one with the most coolest atmosphere.Even though the movie doesn't fit in to the 'Tarantinoesque' movies list, even though it completely differs from the former works of the stereotype director some say Tarantino is, OUATIH never fails to be what it was meant to be - not even a single minute.And that is how it's a success.It's not the greatest work there is, but it is indeed a love letter.