Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★½

i intentionally waited a day to write this review because i wanted to be 100% sure of what i thought about this. i think i might be ready.
 i’ve concluded this is a gift from tarantino to himself. now, i’d like to add that there ain’t nothing wrong with that. he is clearly very fond of a specific time and place and decided to pay homage to that through a nostalgia-packed, technically impressive movie!! 
but what i’ve also concluded is there’s kind of a down side to that, i guess. when you make a movie for yourself, it might be wise to remember not everyone is you. not everyone is going to have the same excitement and interest and cultural background to understand said movie. with that said, this phenomenon created, in my own opinion, a very interesting but weirdly paced and confusing movie (well, for the most part). that doesn’t mean everyone who doesn’t understand the references and nostalgia won’t like it. i’m sure a lot of people will!! i, personally, just felt like the emotional closeness tarantino had with the whole thing interfered negatively with the pacing and the plot in a major way. 
now remember when i said “(well, for the most part)”? the last act of the movie is this whole other fucking thing. it’s insane. everything; all the action, comedy, narration and tarantino-esque-violence that should’ve showed up before do just that in this last act. so i really liked it.
but despite the cool ending, it still left a weird bittersweet taste in my mouth. there was a significant lack of tarantino for a tarantino movie. i respect his love and excitement for the subject matter, and i recognize this is a total passion project. it just didn’t do it for me this time. yes, i’m sure. as i said, i waited a day.