Dean James’s review published on Letterboxd:
‘Once Upon A Time in... Hollywood’ is the 9th and latest film by Quentin Tarantino and stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt. 1969 in Hollywood is a changing time. A new wave of Hollywood actors and directors are coming into the limelight, resulting in older stars becoming has-been’s, in which is the case for movie and TV star Rick Dalton. He has worked alongside stuntman and fellow friend, Cliff Booth, on a number of his pictures. As Dalton continues to survive and regain his fame in a changing studio system, he makes the choice to star in a series of western films and prove to his audiences that his acting skills are still on point. Although, as the golden years of Hollywood are fading away, up and coming stars are making it in the industry, including Sharon Tate and film director Roman Polanski. Booth and Dalton are challenged by rising tensions between newer generations, represented through the hippie movement and the Manson family, in a world consumed by drugs, sexual freedom and crime. Tarantino has created an intelligent, sinister but highly entertaining galore of comedy, intense violent sequences and originality, mixing in real life characters surrounding Tate and the Manson’s; although the representation of true events are mild and implied. The supporting cast is stellar, including Al Pacino, Margot Robbie and Kurt Russell, but it is DiCaprio and Pitt, who both do incredible jobs in their performances. Featuring visually accurate production design and costumes that captures the essence of late 1960’s LA. This is Tarantino’s smartest script since Pulp Fiction. His dialogue is witty and hard hitting. My only problem is that it does lack in narrative. In saying that, he has created this nostalgic feel with incredible skill, featuring a style that you can only get from a Tarantino film.