Licorice Pizza (2021)

Quick Reviews

Written & Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

Starring Alana Haim, Cooper Hoffman, Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Bradley Cooper, & Benny Safdie

Release Date: November 26, 2021

Running Time: 2hr 13min

Rating: R

The story of 25 year old Alana Kane (Haim) and 15 year old Gary Valentine (Hoffman) growing up, running around and going through the treacherous navigation of first love in the San Fernando Valley, 1973. Alana often joins Gary in his various business ventures.

The film has received mostly critical acclaim, and been the recipient of various awards and nominations, including three nominations at the 94th Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. Some controversy arose due to the 10 year age gap of the main characters, and a white guy using an offensive Japanese accent. The latter is very much supposed to be offensive and cringe, and reflective of the time. Seriously, if you’re gonna set something during another time period, you should try for some accuracy, even the more unpleasant ones. As for the age gap? Eh, no lines are ever crossed on camera (plus the actors at least consenting ages in real life), lord knows there’s been way more uncomfortable movies out there involving a relationship between a minor and an adult.

This is a solidly made film, as is to be expected of Paul Thomas Anderson at this point in his almost 30 years in filmmaking. You can also rely on his movies to provide an awesome soundtrack, I see plenty of people adding it to their playlists. If both Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman decide to continue acting, I see them both having strong careers. I definitely recommend giving this a watch.

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