Late-2021 coming-of-age dramedy Licorice Pizza has all the evident pieces of a Best Picture nominee in the trailer alone. This film is written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, stars new actors Alana Haim (from the band Haim) and Cooper Hoffman (son of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman), and takes place in the sunny 1970s San Fernando Valley. This combination essentially guaranteed an Oscar nomination of some kind, but the ingredients of a great film do not always add up to one. Keep reading to see if Licorice Pizza is the right future rental for you!
Paul Thomas Anderson's Legendary Eye for Southern California
From minute one, the glistening views of the San Fernando Valley propel the viewer back to 1997, back to Paul Thomas Anderson's breakout feature Boogie Nights, a film also set in the 1970s. By now, Anderson has drifted through many years while portraying Southern California, both in his films and his life. His previous films that actively show SoCal, namely Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood, and Inherent Vice, always allowed darkness to creep into the proceedings, either subtly or overwhelmingly. In Licorice Pizza, Anderson lets a newly radiant glow shine from the film, generated by its youthful characters as well as the time and location.
'Licorice Pizza:' Simultaneously Nostalgic and Unconventional
Though debuting on the silver screen, actors Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman know their characters well, demonstrating the same timeless ease that informs the entire movie. In this sense, the formless, non-existent plot of Licorice Pizza perfectly captures the feeling of the film because it is about nothing but means everything. Though it's hard to describe exactly why this movie is good, it's the kind where you know it when you see it. Once you get settled into its world, Licorice Pizza will be a film that you never want to leave.
How Can I Watch 'Licorice Pizza?'
Licorice Pizza is not available for rental yet, but you still might be able to catch it in theaters if you act fast. Since the film had a nationwide release in the U.S. at the end of December, March 2022 will likely be the earliest time that you can see Licorice Pizza from the comfort of your couch.