This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
WillFilm’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Those effing hippies!
My first 5-star rating of 2019 goes to Once Upon a Time Hollywood! It really deserves it.
I can't tell you how happy I am right now. I have seen good or decent movies lately, but it's been almost 2 years since Baby Driver and Blade Runner 2049, that was the last time I absolutely loved a film so much that I couldn't stop thinking and talking about it. I was smiling and laughing on the way home from the theater after seeing Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, it feels amazing to be completely fascinated by a movie once again.
I am not the biggest Quentin Tarantino fan, but this movie just clicked for me. Tarantino's love for the art and history of cinema is on full display here, and I couldn't get enough of it. The cinematography was transfixing, the writing was hilarious, the performances were legendary, the meandering plot was refreshing, and it all built up towards an extremely satisfying conclusion.
I know Tarantino is a big fan of movies from the 60's, he has said before that The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly is the best movie ever made. So I found the disdain towards the Italian westerns parodied in the movie to be very ironic and funny. Especially because this movie felt like a love letter specifically to Sergio Leone's style, but it still had Tarantino's unique vision behind it.
As I said before, the meandering plot was refreshing. There are so many memorable scenes here, and sometimes they don't lead into something else. This movie isn't a check list of plot-points that need to happen (like with some terrible franchise films), it is focused on having emotionally captivating sequences and characters instead. It spits in the face of conventional plot structure, which I love. I disagree when people use the phrase "first, second, and third act" when describing different points of the movie, because this movie was not structured to be like anything else.
Thank you Tarantino for reminding me why I love cinema, I needed this after seeing the monoculture choke-hold Disney has over blockbusters right now.
Brad Pitt and his dog, name a more iconic duo.