“Twenty-five years after premiering “Pulp Fiction” in Cannes, Quentin Tarantino returned to the French film festival with neither great vengeance nor furious anger but a gentler fairy tale about 1960s Los Angeles.”
“Despite the ghoulish premise and sprawling canvas (no expense was spared in recreating Vietnam-era L.A.), the film is more of a character study than some of Tarantino’s recent works. It is, in some respects, a meditation on the ephemeral nature of talent and a cautionary tale for artists who find themselves out of step with the times. It’s unclear how commercial that will prove, something that could be worrisome for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s” backers, given the film’s hefty price tag. It also should be noted that nearly every film at Cannes earns an ovation. That type of audience response doesn’t always translate into rapturous reviews.”
“When reports first came out in July 2017 that Tarantino’s next project would be a film about the Manson Family, a 1960s cult who went on a killing spree, Weinstein was still involved. Three months later, the New York Times published detailed allegations of Weinstein’s extended history of sexual assault, triggering one of the biggest scandals in Hollywood history, and soon thereafter Tarantino cut ties with his former mentor.
It’s therefore inevitable that Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will be judged in light of Tarantino’s newfound independence. Disappointingly, the director’s first post-Weinstein film is strikingly bland.”