Alex Papatheodorou’s review published on Letterboxd:
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Tarantino's penultimate (or perhaps final) film feels like a swansong: built so highly off the strengths of his twenty-seven year career and yet something completely different, I was incredibly impressed at how slow, methodical, and explorative Hollywood is. It just... lives. It may not have the constantly snappy dialogue or editing of his previous works, but that's on purpose. We're living in Tarantino's version of 1969; really, truly living.
At the centre of it are Rick and Cliff, two of Tarantino’s finest characters. Their friendship is wonderful to see and it plays out with an incredible amount of realism. You can feel the bond between these two men.
Pitt gives what is likely a career-defining performance while DiCaprio almost uses Dalton's situation as a gateway to explore his own career: where he's been, where he is now, and what he could be next.
But the heartbeat of the film is Sharon Tate's life: a melancholy window into an innocent life taken far, far too soon. Tarantino loves Tate and this film, more often than not, holds so much admiration and respect to her and her life, often showing the quiet and happy life she lived while the audience desperately fears what could come next for her.
I need to see this again before I can really, truly articulate everything I like about it, but for now it stands as a fantastic entry into Tarantino's filmography. It's an ode to a bygone era of film, an era Tarantino loves so dearly, and it shows in every frame.
10 out of 10