Solid reviews and a six-minute ovation for new Tarantino movie 'Once Upon A Time In Hollywood' at Cannes

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Pitt and DiCaprio in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (Credit: Sony)

Quentin Tarantino's new movie Once Upon A Time In Hollywood has been called his best work since Pulp Fiction after its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.

It also received a six-minute (or seven-minute, according to some reports) standing ovation from the notoriously clap-happy festival audience.

The movie appears 25 years after Tarantino's Pulp Fiction debuted at Cannes, cementing the director's career in Hollywood.

Read more: Tarantino poster criticised for air brushing Margot Robbie

With an all-star cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Dakota Fanning, Kurt Russell and Al Pacino, it finds the director dissecting the world of the movie business at the end of the 1960s.

It also features a number of real-life figures, including Robbie as Sharon Tate, the actress wife of Roman Polanski who was murdered by the Manson Family, Damian Lewis as Steve McQueen, and Fanning as Lynette Fromme, one of the Manson clan.

Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate (Credit: Sony)

Tarantino has pleaded with audiences not to reveal the film's ending – as has the festival director Thierry Frémaux – with the action centring on DiCaprio as a washed up TV western actor, and Pitt as his friend, confidant and body double.

Notices for the movie have been glowing.

Read more: First poster for Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw gave it a full five stars, writing: “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.”

The Evening Standard calls it 'if not a career best, it’s an extraordinary career summation'.

The Daily Telegraph, in another five-star review, adds that the film is 'is pure movie-world intoxication, laced with in-jokes and nibble-ably sweet period detail. (This film must have the most plausible, immersive depiction of late-Sixties LA since they shot films in LA in the late Sixties.)'

DiCaprio as Rick Dalton (Credit: Sony)

Giving it four stars, Time Out reckons it's 'a massively fun shaggy-dog story that blends fact and fiction by inserting made-up characters at the heart of real, horrible events and then daring history to do its worst. It’s also a glorious love letter to Los Angeles and the movies'.

But it's not all unconditional plaudits.

The Hollywood Reporter writes: “Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood is 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.”

Total Film calls it 'Tarantino at his most indulgent and unfocused', and per Vanity Fair: “This curious fairy tale may not be the truth, and it may prattle on too long. But when its stars align, and they let loose with their unmistakable shine, Hollywood movies do seem truly special again.”

Whether it's Tarantino's best work yet or not, we won't find out until it lands in the UK on August 14.