Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★★½

Tarantino’s latest opus is not only a love letter to the movies he grew up with, it’s also pretty much a love letter to himself. It’s a grand gesture of self-fellatio, but of the acceptable kind since it doubles as a work of profound introspection. The film offers a kaleidoscopic patchwork of influences from Tarantino’s own filmography, often yielding amusing results. For a Tarantino movie, it’s also uncharacteristically light on plot, even light on dialogue at times, which is super refreshing. The film is at its best during those quiet, contemplative moments, free from the director’s patented monologues. I find such scenes—like Cliff’s simple act of feeding the dog or Sharon’s poignant visit to the theater—deeply absorbing. The crowd-pleasing bout of revisionist history à la Inglourious Basterds during the finale is icing on the cake.