Licorice Pizza is a unique love story set in the San Fernando Valley circa 1973 that only director Paul Thomas Anderson could pull off.
Although he has examined the maturity levels of several characters throughout his career, Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson has yet to give an era story at the level Licorice pizza. At its core, the film is a love story – one that they have/won’t be set in the San Fernando Valley circa 1973. It has all the careful attention to detail that Anderson is known for, and anchored by, two stellar performances by its young lead actors. More important, Licorice pizza should stand out as one of Paul Thomas Anderson’s best films about heart, humor, and his ability to capture emotional fluidity during adolescence.
Licorice pizza bolstered by two stellar performances from Cooper Hoffman and Alana Haim. As Gary and Alana, the two actors bring a lot of realism to this burgeoning relationship. They highlight the complicated inner feelings that come from two people who think there’s a spark but are sometimes too afraid to admit it. Gary is sometimes frank with Alana, who is more than a decade older than him, but she still finds him charming. There’s something magical in the seriousness with which Anderson approaches the idea of a May-September romance that never feels cliché or creepy.
The movie makes a lot of things seem mundane, from Gary’s various business practices to Alana’s desire to escape her oppressive Jewish family. The two go through many adventures but very few of them anticipate the idea of their relationship or romance. They went through each scenario together and that feeling was like the foundation of growing feelings. Licorice pizza never glorified any moment that was about love, but reveled in the random things they both got together, such as watching Sean Penn’s character jump over a fire pit on a motorcycle or their encounter with Bradley Cooper’s Jon Peters, a sublime scene-stealer. .
At times, the Gary-Alana relationship is almost like a red herring. The movie isn’t really about whether or not they’ll ever get together; that’s just the driving force behind introducing the story of these two characters. But like any unique love story, Licorice pizza pull it all together so wonderfully that you feel it’s worth the whole journey. Paul Thomas Anderson has another incredible filmmaking feat on his hands.
Licorice pizza Now available in cinemas.
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