After months of breathless anticipation, Quentin Tarantino finally unveiled his ninth film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, at Cannes. And based on the first reactions that flooded social media immediately following the world premiere, QT has yet another masterpiece on his hands.
Set in 1969 Hollywood against the backdrop of the gruesome Charles Manson murders, the film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a past-his-prime TV star, and Brad Pitt as his stunt double/sidekick. But based on the early buzz out of Cannes, it’s Margot Robbie‘s performance as the doomed actress Sharon Tate that steals the show.
“She’s the heart and soul of this film,” wrote The Playlist’s Jordan Ruimy. “Her Sharon Tate is the most humane and resonant character of the entire movie. Almost every scene she‘s in is heartbreaking to watch.” Ruimy also compared the film to Pulp Fiction, which many regard as Tarantino’s masterpiece. “He juggles a mosaic of characters and story-lines in this one, eventually stringing them together for a relentlessly playful and touching finale,” he added. The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw had an equally ecstatic, albeit more general take on the film. “Tarantino’s brilliant exploitation black-comedy ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ finds a pulp-fictionally redemptive take on the Manson nightmare: shocking, gripping, dazzlingly shot in the celluloid-primary colours of sky blue and sunset gold,” he raved.
But not everyone was as euphoric once the credits rolled. Tim Grierson of ScreenDaily was far more muted in his praise, calling the film “baggy, self-indulgent, fascinatingly its own thing and ambitiously conceived.” One thing most people did agree on is the closely guarded climax, which sounds like it will have audiences buzzing well into the summer. “To be completely honest I’m not yet sure what to make of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” wrote Alex Billington of FirstShowing.net. “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.”
Find out what all the fuss is about when Once Upon a Time in Hollywood hits theaters on July 26. Check out more first reactions below.