Licorice Pizza Review: In “Licorice Pizza;” Paul Thomas Anderson’s bright; dazzling picture of the 1970s San Fernando Valley is so wonderful; so full of possibilities; that it seems impossible that it could have occurred.
It’s a location where anything may happen as day goes to night; with its long; magical-hour walk-and-talks and a sense of adventure around every corner and down every block.
However, there is an undeniable undertone of danger inside that happy, carefree reverie.
It’s in Anderson’s frequent partner, the superb Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, who puts you on edge with his score.
It’s appealing to the sky from the searchlights outside the big opening of a Ventura Boulevard pinball parlor.
And it’s in huge; bombastic moments; thanks to showy supporting performances by Bradley Cooper and Sean Penn; both of whom go all out.
As the day gives way to night, anything could happen—but are you prepared?
Licorice Pizza Where to Watch?
The comedy Licorice Pizza, starring Alana Haim, Cooper Hoffman, and Sean Penn, is now available to view.
On your Roku device, watch it on ROW8, Prime Video, Vudu Movie & TV Store, Apple TV, Redbox, or VUDU.
Anderson grew up in this neighborhood, and he still lives there today.
His affection for the Valley, with its sprawling suburbs and unremarkable strip malls, is clear.
I grew up in Woodland Hills, just down the 101 Freeway from where the events of “Licorice Pizza” take place, and I have great memories of the Southern California record store chain that lends the film its name.
(I used to go to the one on Topanga Canyon Boulevard in Canoga Park, across from Topanga Plaza, when I was a youngster.)
He’s already given us a tour of the area in a couple of his early films (“Boogie Nights” and “Magnolia”), but with “Licorice Pizza,” he takes a more delicate approach.
Anderson has taken all of his signature thrilling, muscular skills as a director, as well as his penchant for high drama as a writer, and put them into a surprisingly beautiful subject.
Licorice Pizza Trailer
Watch Trailer Here
It’s also crazily unpredictable from one scene to the next, as Anderson expertly transitions from outrageous comedy to delicate romance, with a handful of genuine action sequences tossed in for good measure.
The easiest way to describe “Licorice Pizza” is to say that it meanders: You never know where it’ll end up, but you can’t wait to find out, and you won’t want it to end when it does.
I did not incline to get up from my seat and leave the theatre once the credits had rolled because I was so engrossed in the film’s comfortable, nostalgic enchantment.
Licorice Pizza Cast
Anderson has given us the most magnificent guides in Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman, both of whom are making their feature picture debuts.
“Licorice Pizza” will make them both superstars, and rightfully so.
Hoffman is the son of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose long and successful collaboration with Anderson produced some of his best work, from the sorrowful (“Boogie Nights”) to the horrific (“The Master”).
Hoffman has a different appearance and temperament than his father—he exudes a contagious, childlike optimism—but he possesses his father’s captivating cinematic presence.
And Haim is a bona fide movie star. She’s got that “thing”: a bright, captivating aura that makes it impossible to look away from her.
She’s the youngest of three sisters who make up the indie rock band HAIM—they’ve had a long and fruitful relationship with Anderson, who’s directed several of their music videos—got she’s amazing comic timing and regularly makes inspired decisions.
She and Hoffman have a quick connection that’s straight out of a classic screwball comedy, yet they’re also perfectly at ease in this 1970s environment.
The inclusion of Haim’s sisters, Danielle and Este, who play Alana’s sisters, adds to the genuineness.
And their real parents play their parents, which all culminates in a hilarious Shabbat meal scenario on a Friday night.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Exactly Is the Purpose of Licorice Pizza?
While their ever-changing relationship serves as the film’s framework, “Licorice Pizza” is actually about this young woman’s voyage of self-discovery: putting on various occupations and attire, as well as different priorities and personalities, to see what fits.
Why Is Licorice Pizza So Highly Rated?
5 out of 5 stars for ‘Licorice Pizza.’
Language, sexual content, and some drug usage are all rated R in this film. On the 24th of December, the film will be released in theaters.
Is There Nudity in Licorice Pizza?
Although there is no explicit nudity in this film, Alana’s willingness to undress in front of a camera remains a source of debate.
Alana finally gives in and reveals to Gary her breasts (the audience only sees Alana’s back). Alana slaps his face when he asks if he can touch them.