Paul Thomas Anderson has been an exciting talent – a rare kind to come along in the past decades. 2021 will see his 9th feature film, Licorice Pizza, hit the theatres.
The last film made by PTA was ‘Phantom Thread’ – the story of a picky, hard-shelled, all-work-no-play man and his muse & the strange relationship & passion they share.
If we know anything about Anderson’s films, it is that he flourishes in settings that go back in time, at stories that are not of the present day such as in Phantom Thread, Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood etc and he’s back at it with Licorice Pizza.
Straight off the bat, Licorice Pizza has a strong ensemble cast with the likes of Sean Penn, Bradley Cooper and Maya Rudolph in key roles. The film also marks the debut of Anderson’s frequent collaborator Philip Seymour Hoffman’s son, Cooper Hoffman. Alana Haim too makes her debut.
The film is set in San Fernando Valley (Los Angeles) in the 70s, where Anderson spent a good number of his growing up years. Cooper Hoffman plays Gary, who is a “hot-shot” showman – an actor who believes he is the chosen one for the industry.
The trailer features David Bowie’s single ‘Life on Mars?’ as Gary falls in love with the character played by Haim. The trailer suggests Gary to be a hopeless romantic as he declares he will find the girl he’s supposed to be marrying someday. He’s persistent & head-over-heels in love with Haim’s character but he is desperate too.
As the trailer picks up pace, Haim grows agitated with Gary’s determination to woo her and Bradley Cooper bashes cars in a comical rage. In a nut-shell, what one might expect is the gradual change of heart from the girl vis-à-vis the boy (who’s not yet a man). But it’s PTA, so endings are often unpredictable and hence we won’t be hedging any bets!
PTA has touched the comedy-romance genre before with Punch-Drunk-Love but this time around the premise is a little different, even if the genre is seemingly the same.
The title is inspired from Licorice Pizza, a chain of record stores in Southern California that was known for its licorice, music albums and magazines.
The film is set for a limited release on November 26 and then a nationwide release in the USA on December 25.
You can catch the trailer here –