Paul Thomas Anderson is considered by many to be one of the best film directors today. Since his debut film Hard Eight (1996), his stardom with Boogie Nights (1997) and Magnolia (1999), the American director, nominated 8 times for the Academy Award; he has managed to captivate both critics and audiences, with his works and characters full of ambition to achieve the American dream.
Anderson’s titles are not for everyone. It does not require, at all, to be a genius or to be above the average to be able to appreciate his work; in fact, it is his unique style that drives many away. Those who find in his work an almost shocking vulnerability and heavy, sensitive and contradictory characters, are left by the way he approaches them narratively. Those who are not used to it will feel that their approach is very slow, and that will be enough to not want to get much closer.
But the creator not only has these tapes to prove his career. In fact, he may be more commonly recognized for directing various music videos for Haim, the famous band founded by three sisters. Now both worlds will be integrated in the new Anderson film that will be precisely starring Alana Haim. After several months of keeping the title and synopsis a secret, today we know that the project will be called Licorice Pizza and that it will premiere in November of this year. In addition, we can already see the first advance:
The trailer uses the song from David Bowie’s Life on Mars to take us back to the seventies, where a young man named Gary will seek to cement his acting career as he navigates the strange life of high school. Gary is portrayed by Cooper Hoffman, son of the late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. At the forefront of the story is the relationship between Gary and his friend, played by Alana Haim, who seem to have a special connection that could lead to a romantic relationship. It is clear that Licorice Pizza will also function as a Coming of Age film, where young people prepare for the cruelty of adult life.
Bradley Cooper will also be part of the cast giving life to producer Jon Peters, recognized for his work on A Star Is Born, both the version with Lady Gaga and Barbra Streisand; as well as Batman and Superman Returns. Maya Rudolph, Anderson’s real-life wife, will also make an appearance, as will Sean Penn and Tom Waits. The protagonist will have to find a way to mix and balance his love of acting and his reality as a teenager at that time.
The aesthetics and setting are somewhat reminiscent of Boogie Nights: Pleasure Games, starring Mark Wahlberg, which told the story of an independent porn producer seeking to elevate his status by taking advantage of a young man whom he considers the next great adult entertainment star . The first pictures of Licorice Pizza don’t reveal much more to us, but that’s not uncommon with an Anderson project. As always, we will be facing a melodrama with light touches of comedy and social criticism.
Licore Pizza was not a simple production. The film had to change the filming start date several times due to the global pandemic. After a long wait, in August 2020 work was able to begin and Anderson worked quite quickly to make up for the time. The film will have a limited release in November, and is expected to hit theaters on December 25, joining the titles that are waiting to be considered for the next awards season.
Note originally published in Tomatazos.
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Licorice Pizza, by Paul Thomas Anderson, presents its official trailer