Monday, April 22, 2024

Mixed, Early Buzz from Cannes for Quentin Tarantino’s First Movie Without Harvey Weinstein to Temper Him


There’s mixed early buzz from Cannes right now for Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood.” It’s his first movie without Harvey Weinstein. I can’t publish spoilers, but I’m hearing that what I wrote yesterday may be close to what happens. What’s interesting is that I’m hearing there’s a lot of concentrated violence, a la “Pulp Fiction.” Weinstein was always able to reason with Tarantino to get very good results (except with “Hateful Eight”). So it will be interesting to see if anyone was able to counterbalance Tarantino’s extremes.

Owen Gleiberman, Variety: “By the end, Tarantino has done something that’s quintessentially Tarantino, but that no longer feels even vaguely revolutionary. He has reduced the story he’s telling to pulp.”

Reviewers are being careful. Eric Kohn of IndieWire Tweeted: “ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD is a meandering Tarantino hangout movie, plays w/history, celebrates the art of the TV western & the creative thrill of performance. DiCaprio & Pitt are better than ever. Lots of nostalgic Easter eggs. It’s fun! But manage expectations.”

One reviewer from Europe told me: ” The film is really long, sometimes fun but also so disengaging. Like a collage of ideas that are poorly glued together.”

Stuart Oldham, from Variety: ““Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is a surprisingly sweet, almost melancholic love letter to 1960s and 70s Hollywood. I loved it”

Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair: “There were stretches during my screening when I was a little bored, even as I was tickled by Tarantino’s offbeat cadence, his commitment to specificity and idiosyncrasy. But it also felt like the movie wasn’t getting anywhere, amounting to a collection of shapeless set-pieces that verge on the indulgent. In Hollywood, the lack of real connective tissue is often more frustrating than it is charming.”

Of course, I love Tarantino and like everyone else, I’m stoked to see this movie. The studio took a gamble unveiling it two months before its release.

Right now, I’m that the main players– Tarantino, Pitt, Robbie, DiCaprio, Fanning– plus their agents are having an intimate dinner for just 20 people. Then a party will take off on the rooftop of the JW Marriott, at Club Albane, for the select few who could score an invite. Sony/Columbia is indeed managing expectations. They only brought four cast members, and didn’t even include Fanning on the red carpet.



Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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