la rogue’s review published on Letterboxd:
Got to watch this again last night and I've gotta say on second watch it was even better. I didn't plan on writing something else for this movie but I kinda have to. But this isn't really about the movie itself, I said much of what I needed to say. What I really need to talk about is Margot Robbie.
On first watch I admitted I was a bit disappointed in what Margot Robbie was given in this film, and then on second watch I realized what I was actually disappointed in...i wanted more Margot!!! Margot is all over the movie, she gets plenty scenes although less dialogue and that's fitting seeing that Sharon Tate was a quiet and shy sweet woman, but Margot is so brilliant as Sharon every single scene she walks into she completely takes over the screen. When Margot is on-screen it's not a Tarantino movie, it's not a Rick Dalton movie, it's not a Cliff Booth movie. When Margot is onscreen she is the movie, that's how brilliant and convincing she is. And I've seen many people make the argument that this portrayal if Sharon is "disrespectful" and that if you remove her from the movie then the movie would be fine because she's useless - I call bullshit. What Tarantino does with Sharon is a tribute to her as an actress and an old Hollywood icon while the rest of it is all guided by Margot Robbie. Robbie has gotten every beat diwn so well to the point that it is almost terrifying. From her innocent but soft voice to her smile that could light up any room Margot Robbie is giving it her all as Sharon Tate. The scene in the movie theater was so brilliant that I actually began to tear up because in my honest opinion it really took me back to my early film classes in college and watching the likes of Rita Hayworth, Ingrid Bergman, Judy Garland, and Debbie Reynolds. And in that scene there's clips of the real Sharon Tate and it's visibly Sharon but for a moment I was convinced that the two women were the same people. Even Sharon Tate's sister Debra Tate had nothing but high praises for Robbie's portrayal of Sharon. (See Debra's response here ew.com/movies/2019/07/26/once-upon-a-time-hollywood-sharon-tate-sister-debra/)
It's been awhile since I've seen a performance that was so subtle and yet so beautiful and filled with so much heart and warmth. It's a testament to how talented Margot Robbie really is even though she's already proven multiple times she's an actress who is Oscar caliber. But to see her in a performance like this that is completely absent of nudity or even profanity was just refreshing to see for an important female character in a movie like this. It's a nice contrast to the machismo of Cliff Booth and Rick Dalton to follow this bubbly and kind young woman simply do things like shop for books, watch a movie, and enjoy the music of the 60's. And those outfits!!!! I wish I could personally thank Margot in person for moving me and giving me such heartwarming moments that I so desperately needed.