b’s review published on Letterboxd:
“and away we go...”
once upon a time in hollywood is a fitting name to say the least, and as the final scene took place it all made sense. it was a fairytale all along.
of course this wasn’t tarantino’s best work by far but i haven’t laughed that hard in a theater in a very long time. it wasn’t overly cheesy, it wasn’t bad though it wasn’t great, and it may have been no pulp fiction but it was a fun time. the first act consisted of a decent set up, it had enjoyable camera work, and quite a nice soundtrack; all things tarantino is never shy of. however the first and second acts lacked substance, it lacked plot points that made you enthralled in the world of these characters. aside from my issues with the plot and essential flow, nothing else hooks you aside from the camera work, and i guess the characters, but once the six month time jump occurs it’s something else entirely. the third act completely made up for the disappointing points of 2/3 of this film.
margot robbie’s sharon tate was marvelous however, it deserved so much more. after cannes i presumed i’d be disappointed in the lack of her presence but the lack of presence wasn’t the issue, it was the lack of substance. but once you see this for yourself, it becomes clear why she doesn’t have many lines and why this film is named “once upon a time in hollywood”.
on the opposite end, leonardo dicaprio’s rick dalton is hands down my favorite leo preformance. he added such an unbelievably lovable layer to this character while keeping his charming charisma intact flawlessly. i don’t need to explain much more as any film fan can recognize and be pleasantly surprised by this. though i cannot say the same for pitt, he still did a great job; the cliff that just fit.
as i watched this i couldn’t stop thinking about how mediocre yet still good it felt? that doesn’t sound as punctual as i like but unless rick dalton was on screen, the scenes were just okay. as i mentioned before, the third act is where everything picks up and with that i can confidently say its tarantino’s funniest film. you’ve begun to understand rick and cliff’s friendship on a more heartwarming level, it feels more personal and as they make there way to the home of the final scene, this is where this film gets you. once cliff booth says “and away we go” just know you’re in for one of the best final scenes of any tarantino film.
i can’t seem to find myself hung up on the dissatisfying 2/3, i can only remember rick dalton holding his flame thrower by his pool and laughing harder than i’ve ever laughed in the cinema in a very long time.