Matt’s review published on Letterboxd:
“It’s official, old buddy... I’m a has-been.” Tarantino seems to absolutely love reminiscing about the glory days, as all of his films seem to be homages, or some sort of nostalgic letter of admiration. Not until the release of this film has he explored this side of himself using the characters themselves, and I think that makes ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD his most personal work. All of the characters in this film seem to be far past their prime. It makes complete sense to me that he’s considering calling this his final film, and honestly, I’m completely okay with that, because this is a spectacular, and unexpectedly poignant way to end his career.
It’s surprisingly very different from much of his past work, in that instead of attempting to tell a straightforward plot, he’s trying to explore ideas and characters only. A plot without foward momentum might turn a lot of people off, but I was completely sold on it. It sort of meanders for two hours, and it’s almost completely carried by the main two performances. Scene after scene, and all the audience really has to do is soak it all in.
This is currently my favorite film that’s released this year, and I can’t wait to see it again and see what more I’ll get out of it. I strongly recommend it, as it’s QT at the top of his game, and I feel that there’s a lot to get out of this, because no matter who the viewer is, or what their opinions on Tarantino’s work are, there’s just so much to appreciate.