As always, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt are a must-have for any big, successful film, such as this one. DiCaprio makes his glorious return to the big screen 4 years after starring in Alejandro González Iñárritu`s Award-winning film (`The Revenant`)- that got DiCaprio his long-awaited Oscar. His Rick Dalton was complex enough to depict the actor’s insanely wide emotional range. Representing one of the main reasons for `Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood`s success, DiCaprio brings his A-game to the film. In my opinion, casting an actor with such big influence as Leonardo DiCaprio is an amazing way of attracting younger audiences and introducing them to the Tarantino cinematic universe.
His take on Sharon Tate was so dear to our hearts- configuring her as an almost angelic presence who guarded over the acclaimed director`s Hollywood tale. The script could have had more scenes featuring Margot Robbie`s Tate, because I believed everyone would have liked to learn more about the late actress` tragic destiny.
The stunning editing and directing mixed beautifully together, resulting in an outstanding feature of the film. The best sequence was the one where all the club and restaurant signs lit up at the same time, as if they were pumping life into an already vibrant L.A. Another unique detail about `Once upon a Time in… Hollywood` was featuring scenes from Sharon Tate`s last films. A pleasant surprise was represented by Austin Butler`s portrayal of Tex (part of the Manson `family`) who delivered a nice performance that made him seem very professional.
The soundtrack was so carefully chosen, with songs like Roy Head and The Traits` “Treat Her Right”, Paul Revere & The Raiders` numerous hits and “Twelve Thirty” by The Mamas & The Papas to pump up the atmosphere (the song present in the Manson `family`s arrival sequence). The production design was absolutely brilliant considering the accuracy of all the vintage decorations used on the western film sets. The production design crew is so deserving of that Academy Award.
At first, I thought a different ending would have been more impactful, but it wasn’t much later until I realised how easily this alternate ending blended in the story. Lastly, my prediction would be that `Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood` is going to take home at least 4 Academy Awards- in categories like Best Production Design, Best Original Screenplay, Best Costume Design, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Brad Pitt).
Update: After experiencing Bong Joon Ho`s insane cinematic masterpiece earlier this February and getting a "once-in-a-Hollywood-lifetime" chance to have a seat in Sam Mendes` emotional carousel, my past suspicions regarding Tarantino`s latest film got confirmed. The script and the film itself, including the directing and editing, cannot be compared to those of "Parasite"- such a creative and disturbing social thriller that reproduces the cunning human nature-, nor to the epic war piece put together by Sam Mendes and sunk in Roger Deakins` idyllic cinematography, entitled "1917". All in all, "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood" is nothing more than a collection of Tarantino moments and lines brought together in what was expected to be a colossal hit, but ultimately failed. Unfortunately, not as satisfying as the intangible monuments of cinema Tarantino had previously presented to the main stage ("Pulp Fiction" and "Inglourious Basterds").