DeafLynch’s review published on Letterboxd:
"Today they asked us to get rid of Joe, tomorrow they ask me to get rid of you. Is that okay with you? 'Cause it's not okay with me!"
Once Upon a Time in America is Sergio Leone's passion project. He turned down the mafia hit The Godfather for this. It was a goodbye to his well known western portfolio, what he wouldn't know is that it would take over 10 years to make! It was also the movie that would ruin his health. When it released it became a flop, and received mixed reviews. Looking back at it today, i think it was a perfect send off to the perfectionist, Sergio Leone.
OUATIA is a long movie, but thats one of its greatest assets. It manages to fully explore the characters, and tell the story they wanted to tell. The pacing is amazing, and not everybody will think so. But I definitely do, it manages to make every scene perfect and doesn't drag it out. I wasn't bored a single moment.
Another one of it's greatest assets is Ennio Morricone's riveting and powerful score. It makes every scene better and more emotional. If you removed his score, it would feel bleak and lifeless. But it wouldn't take away from the beautiful cinematography. OUATIA has some of the greatest shots in cinema history. It's a movie filled with violence and sex. It has a haunting story of betrayal and greed. And it's 💯 percent amazing!
(First Letterboxd review)