Licorice Pizza

Directed Written by Paul Thomas Anderson

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

Cinema Release Australia Boxing Day.

There is great satisfaction when you see a good film that is written well as the script is tight as is the direction. Filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson whose work shines from award winnings films like Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood, The Master, Inherent Vic, Phantom Thread has put yet together another great comedy-drama where he has collected stories and developed them into a great time of the classic years in 1970 with music highlights that brought me back to such fond memories and a cast that is so fitting.

This is a cracker of a film that delights and for the younger audience, they will benefit so much in a sequence of how this unfolds and it brings you back to a time in LA when it had some of the best icon moments and classic characters.

Around 2001, Anderson was walking by a junior high school on picture day. He observed one of the students nagging the female photographer and had an idea of the student having an adult relationship with the photographer. The screenplay of Licorice Pizza evolved from this experience and additional stories told to Anderson by his friend Gary Goetzman, who was a child actor who had starred in the film Yours, Mine and Ours with Lucille Ball, appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, and eventually started a waterbed company and pinball palace. Goetzman at one time delivered a waterbed to Jon Peters that is played by Bradley Cooper! Alone this has to be one of the screen stealers in the film to what is a crazy adaption of the famous hairdresser and was a filmmaker who dated Barbara Streisand.

Cooper Hoffman, the son of Philip Seymour Hoffman, justifies the part he plays in his first-time film where Anderson had his father in 5 of his past films. Watch this space he is a chip off the block and huge talent climbing up now.

The leading lady is 25-year-old Alana Kane, who plays a photographer’s assistant who is frustrated in her life living at home still, nagging sisters Jewish strict family until young Hoffman gains her attention and they develop a friendship like no other. It is beautifully written for them both and this is what makes this film so special.

Add in Sean Pean, Tom Waits and you got more cream on the top and really funny drama. Apparently Leo Dicaprio, refused a part in the film. Silly boy.

With cinema coming back into action, I can only say the value you get in buying a ticket to see this film will be of no regrets. Sit back and enjoy the journey the music and flashback to some really cool times.


Caroline Russo Critic.

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