JayleFou’s review published on Letterboxd:
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is without a doubt Tarantino’s most mature and sweetest film yet
If there is any way I could describe this film by comparing it to another film it would be that this is the anti Death Proof. In a sense they are both different takes on the same character, both Rick Dalton (Played by Leonardo DiCaprio in what possibly could be his career-best) and Stuntman Mike are both relics of an older time in cinema. They both struggle with trying to catch up with the fast-evolving state of cinema. Where they differ is in their reaction to being washed up, Death Proof feels like Tarantino’s cynical reaction to the way film is evolving. However, this film takes an optimistic look on the topic. Tarantino not only has created a film about a fading tv star trying to find success in the film industry, but he also made a film about the love behind the craft of filmmaking and friendship.
“Don’t cry in front of the Mexicans”
The dynamic power duo that is Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt is the textbook definition of pure chemistry. They bring so much life to their characters, and even when they have to be on their own they feel as if they each took full control of the film for their respected scenes. Margot Robbie also does a great job of capturing a wide-eyed Sharron Tate. All of these respected characters do an incredible job of capturing different aspects of Hollywood, I feel that there is another layer of depth to them that I have yet to understand (I absolutely will be rewatching this so I’ll do an update if I catch anything new) but right now I can still acknowledge how much care was into developing each one of these characters. Rick Dalton might be one of my favorite characters in cinematic history. There is so much time spent seeing this character completely vulnerable, long takes where he slowly starts to break down. Then there’s scenes in which Rick’s friendship with Cliff is explored and you can just feel the compassion and history between them. (Skip to the next piece of text in bold to avoid spoilers) Seeing Rick transform into a man who only wants to be in film for the fame to him becoming perfectly content with his career and grow a bigger apparition for films and Cliff is so refreshing for a Tarantino film and is genuinely heartwarming. (No more spoilers from here on) It left me with a feeling that no other Tarantino film has done yet, and that’s optimism.
“Rick Fucking Dalton”
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood manages to become sort of a coming of age film for adults. In the sense we are taken on a purely intimate journey. Every film of Tarantino’s is a love letter to the films he has grown up with, but what makes this special is that not only is it a love letter to cinema and 1960’s Hollywood, it’s a loving homage to all of those who are trying to make it into the film industry. It is this that adds the icing on the cake for what is the most human film in Tarantino’s filmography.
Watch this in theaters, please.
It was an incredible theatrical experience. Seeing scenes of old film stock on the big screen really transported me into the year of 1969. It’s a film that is meant to be seen in theaters so that all of the beautiful film making can be enjoyed. That and when is the next time you’re going to see Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt on the big screen together?