This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
florence 💌’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
– ...you are?
– i’m the Devil. And I'm here to do the Devil's business.
– ...nah, it was dumber than that. something like, Rex?
It's confusing to realize there isn't any particular plot or purpose to the movie and that you are just here to witness two people navigating through life. Once you make peace with that, Once upon a time in Hollywood is a warm and confusingly hilarious ride through an era that is depicted like a fantasy ; something you never really knew but you can't help but admire and idealize, fantasize about. It's nostalgic and warm, with pretty colors, countless references and an amazing soundtrack that does justice to the whole atmosphere of the movie.
The one thing everyone can agree on is probably the performances. Having two legends such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt play alongside each other was risky to me, but the relationship and dynamic between the two characters both actors to shine through their own scenes, their own storyline. Once Cliff Booth drops Rick Dalton off to work, both characters are independent, it is like you're following two different movies. You would think that the hierarchy between the actor and his stuntman — but also a friend driving him to work every day — would have an impact on who the film is focused on, Leonardo DiCaprio being at the center of it, but actually, Brad Pitt is almost stealing the show with his mysterious character, especially towards the end. This performance is phenomenal and probably one of his best, if not THE best. He plays this silent and pensive stunt double with subtlety and charm. It's also great to see Leo playing a character straying from his usual range, an alcoholic actor struggling to come to terms with his failing career, screaming at people while drinking his whole blender of margarita, with that stutter he gave him. It's endearing actually, and each one of his scenes is hilarious, and it made me so happy to see him play such a fun and chaotic character. I think this movie is a fun ride for everyone.
This movie surprised me a lot, with characters I wanted to see more of (Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate, please! but as little lines as she's got, her energy still radiates through the film), with an editing I'm still not sure I liked but that was definitely particular, the Manson family being introduced in a way that I didn't really expect, especially the way reality met fiction at the end. I was wondering when the bloodshed would start, and that scene did not disappoint, because in addition to being a typical violence scene from Tarantino, it was extremely funny.
The title sums up the movie pretty well to me. It pays a pretty tribute to an era that has ended, but also these people that witnessed it and had to cope with it. To the way cinema evolved, maybe. It was like seeing a film, in a film, in another film — etc, with different genres, the sound of a film projector, celluloid and metal, and the fact that some iconic people like McQueen or Sharon Tate were allowed to be alive again, for a little while.
Anyway, seeing Leo on the big screen after almost 4 years makes this very special to me, I missed him so much, and I hope everyone appreciates his performance and character, because I'm a proud mother.