mymoviestash’s review published on Letterboxd:
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is Quentin Tarantino's 9th film. It's also my favourite of his. It's been a fantastic year in film in 2019, and this is at the top of my list. I love how he takes his time with this story. I've seen this movie four times so far this year, and every time I do, it flies by because of how well it's paced despite the long run time. Tarantino takes you back to 1960's Los Angeles and completely immerses you within it. I agree with those who say this is his most personal film, one because it's a love letter to the profession he is apart of, and two because the setting of the movie's based on his childhood. I love the feeling of being transported back to that time, and all the little film-geek references that are laid out throughout the movie.
Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio are brilliant in this as Cliff Booth and Rick "Fucking" Dalton. Margot Robbie is spellbindingly beautiful and sweet as Sharon Tate. The film is a damn good time from start to finish. The locations and sets are fantastic, and the cinematography is elite, seriously elite, Robert Richardson take a bow. The music is freaking brilliant and helps in the immersion, especially whenever you hear the radion in the driving scenes, it takes you back to that time. I could watch the scenes of Cliff Booth driving his car and listening to "Ramblin' Gamblin Man" by Bob Seger, and Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski blasting "Hush" by Deep Purple as they speed to the Playboy Mansion, over and over. 10/10 soundtrack.
This movie has some of my all-time favourite sequences. I am starting with the Spahn Ranch sequence. The moment Cliff Booth sets foot on the ranch to the moment he takes off in his car is freaking brilliant. The suspense, the beautiful desert cinematography, the sweeping shots, absolutely superb. I'm going to have to get spoiler-heavy with the next sequence, Cliff & Rick v The Hippies. I haven't laughed that hard in a movie for such a long time, and I think it's because I couldn't see this sequence coming, or how over the top it'd be. I, like most, who probably saw the movie knew how the events panned out in real life, so to say the ending was a shock would be an understatement. I didn't see it coming, even though it's not a first for Tarantino, who has rewritten history before. At first, I didn't know how to feel about that move, but I've come to love it. Life is full of terrible events like the Tate Murders, and it's easy to feel helpless sometimes when you look at the horrors of the world. Still, I think in some small way, what Tarantino is saying here is, even though we can't do anything to change events that have happened, we can right the wrongs through art. Make it the way it should've been. And that's probably the most touching aspect of the movie.
I could not recommend this enough.