Quentin Tarantino’s ninth movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this week, and the first reviews are incredibly positive.
The movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio as an actor falling out of prominence and his stunt double who is played by Brad Pitt. This is all happening in Hollywood during the summer of 1969. DiCaprio’s character lives next door to the actress Sharon Tate (played by Margot Robbie in the film), who would be murdered by the Charles Manson family that same year.
Reviewers are calling the movie one of Tarantino’s most personal films, and a love letter to the Hollywood industry. The movie also features other huge-name actors such as Al Pacino, James Marsden, Timothy Olyphant, Dakota Fanning, and Kurt Russell, while Luke Perry appears in his final role before his death.
We’re breaking out some review excerpts here, but the movie isn’t coming out until July in the US, so only a small handful of press were able to see the film at the famous French movie festival. You can also check out a 30-minute Q&A with Tarantino, DiCaprio, Pitt, and Robbie in the video above.
The Guardians’ Peter Bradshaw said about Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, “Quite simply, I just defy anyone with red blood in their veins not to respond to the crazy bravura of Tarantino’s film-making, not to be bounced around the auditorium at the moment-by-moment enjoyment that this movie delivers–and conversely, of course, to shudder at the horror and cruelty and its hallucinatory aftermath.”
Writing for Time, Stephanie Zacharek said, “This is a tender, rapturous film, both joyous and melancholy, a reverie for a lost past and a door that opens to myriad imagined possibilities.”
David Rooney for The Hollywood Reporter summed up his thoughts thusly: “Once Upon a Time in Hollywoodis uneven, unwieldy in its structure and not without its flat patches. But it’s also a disarming and characteristically subversive love letter to its inspiration, in which Tarantino rebuilds the Dream Factory as it existed during the time of his childhood, while rewriting the traumatic episode often identified as the end of that era.”
Below are some other thoughts and opinions about the film that were posted on Twitter:
I’m a fan of watching great actors. There is no better actor than Leo. There are moments in #OnceUponaTimeinHollywood that are mind-boggling. Movie within a movie. Acting within acting. Crazy.
— Tatiana Siegel (@TatianaSiegel27) May 21, 2019
To be completely honest I’m not yet sure what to make of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Need to let this one marinate, don’t have an instant reaction. Most of the film is pretty good, I’m having fun watching them play around in late 60s Hollywood. Then the finale is HOLY FUCK.
— Alex Billington @ Cannes (@firstshowing) May 21, 2019
ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD – Historically dubious, thematically brilliant, QT finds his form in film that could win Palme d’Or or be picketed by audiences, or maybe both. Thrilling, provocative, blackly comical, intensely unsettling masterwork. #cannes2019
— Jason Gorber – at #Cannes2019 (@filmfest_ca) May 21, 2019
ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD: Tarantino wasn’t joking when he said this was the closest to PULP FICTION that he has come. He juggles a mosaic of characters and story-lines in this one, eventually stringing them together for a relentlessly playful and touching finale. #Cannes2019
— Jordan Ruimy @ Cannes (@mrRuimy) May 21, 2019
Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood is so gloriously, wickedly indulgent, compelling and hilarious. The film QT was born to make. The world is a more colourful place in Quentin Tarantino’s twilight zone. Round two, please. #Cannes2019
— Joe Utichi (@joeutichi) May 21, 2019
Go to GameSpot sister site Metacritic to see a further breakdown of the critical reaction to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood opens July 26 in the US, August 14 in the UK, and August 15 in Australia.