Jack Bool’s review published on Letterboxd:
If 'Jackie Brown' captured the South Bay of the nineties, 'Once Upon a Time In Hollywood' is the embodiment of the swinging sixties.
Pop culture references aplenty, Tarantino lovingly recreates the final moments of Hollywood's golden age while the beginnings of New Hollywood come to fruition. Rather than rely on plot machinations it plays as a day in the life of the characters with the city of Los Angeles feeling like a quintessential member of the cast.
Initially, I was taken aback by the presence of Leonardo DiCaprio & Brad Pitt. Quentin Tarantino described their partnership as "the most exciting star dynamic since Robert Redford and Paul Newman" and I'm inclined to agree. There's something majestic about seeing two actors of their calibre sharing the screen. Understandably, Tarantino's dialogue can elevate any performance but the way in which they embody their characters is unparalleled. They feel like real people with a genuine chemistry and consequently, I will revisit the film multiple times for the reason that I enjoyed their company.
A largely talented ensemble featuring the likes of Margot Robbie, Kurt Russell & Al Pacino (to name a few) showcase the eccentricities of Los Angeles. From the slums to the hills and other surrounding areas it's a deeply personal, transportive experience that takes us back to a defining time in pop culture. Personally, I could watch Cliff Booth drive Rick Dalton's 1966 Cadillac DeVille up and down the Sunset Strip for hours on end (of course the soundtrack doesn't hurt).
Speaking as someone who romanticises a bygone era, I admire Tarantino's voyeuristic approach. Every frame tells a story. Singular moments that eventually intertwine. It's the unpredictability combined with the technicalities that prevent the film from dragging. It's utterly flawless! Constantly moving the energy it radiates is infectious.
A testament to how much I loved the journey was how forgiving I am of Sharon Tate placing her feet on the seats during a screening of her film, 'The Wrecking Crew'. Normally, I would not condone such behaviour but due to the quality of Tarantino's penultimate effort, I'm willing to let it slide.
Films like this don't come around very often. A mature, meticulous masterwork that ranks among his very best. Unfortunately for Quentin he's crafted the ultimate swan song one film too early but if anyone had to perform the unimaginable it would be him. After all, he is Quentin fucking Tarantino, don't you forget it!