Once Upon a Time in Hollywood first reactions

After a four year break, Quentin Tarantino is back. The acclaimed writer/director’s ninth feature film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, has just debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in France, and while we’ll have our own full review coming from the festival shortly, we wanted to gather some of the earliest reactions from critics to give you a sense of how people are reacting to his new period piece. Take a look below.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood First Reactions

Aside from the oddly pervasive idea that Tarantino’s last few films have been “baggy,” which I don’t agree with, these reactions are largely positive! Tarantino has always been a divisive filmmaker, and I think there’s been a pervasive dread during the lead-up to this movie, wondering if he could make a film that could survive the modern state of pop culture discussion. It remains to be seen what the larger reaction to this movie will be, but the fact that many of these reactions focus on the quality of the filmmaking has me excited that we’re going to, at the very least, be seeing another piece of work from a craftsman at the top of his game.

We’ve known for a long time that his new film takes place in 1969 and focuses on a washed up actor (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his best friend/stuntman (Brad Pitt), in addition to involving Charles Manson and Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie). Thanks to a new Esquire interview with Tarantino and his two leading men, we now know a few more details about the story and how it unfolds. That whole Esquire piece is definitely worth a read, though, because there are a lot of fascinating anecdotes about the film’s characters and some true-life Hollywood stories involving the actors (example: DiCaprio describes the last time he saw River Phoenix on the night Phoenix died).

Stay tuned for our full review. In the meantime, I’ll just be jealously over here clawing at my apartment walls for the next couple of months because I want to see this movie right now.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood opens in theaters on July 26, 2019.

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