By Cameron Milton
The highly anticipated Paul Thomas Anderson dramedy Licorice Pizza not only surpassed all my expectations, but completely shattered them. This film just embodies all of the vital elements that Paul Thomas Anderson incorporates in each one of his movies, with the result being to absolutely allure his audience and bring them to an absolute standstill with the wide array of cinematography, astonishing screenplays, those arresting establishing shots that he completely owns, and the list literally never ends. I must add that the 70s vignette theme expressed in the camera work in Licorice Pizza was absolute eye candy, that’s something that is worth taking away from this moving project.
The debut of Cooper Hoffman was one to never forget. Paul knew exactly what to do in constructing and easing the complex and addled character of Gary Valentine into the amateur actor that is Cooper. If you told anyone to watch this movie and analyze Cooper, they would’ve never imagined this was his acting debut. If only Philip were here, he would be tremendously proud of his son. Alana Haim was all the more considerably exceptional as well. She personified the also confusing and constant whirlwind of a character that was Alana Kane effortlessly, and not to mention literally stunned viewers with the throwback 70s fashion and charisma she showed off.
The fogginess of intimacy between both Gary and Alana alone is just why I love this film so much. It’s like a 20th-century Shakespearean play (keeping in mind the 70s time frame) with outright realistic emotions and context that cover the trials and tribulations encountered in romance. This type of chemistry between both characters was enlivening to say the least. Safe to say the future of cinema is bright with young actors like Cooper Hoffman leading the charge.
With Licorice Pizza being the ninth film in the downright worldwide acclaimed filmography of PTA, it is a top three favorite of mine, along with a dearest project of his. The constant thought that kept bouncing around in my mind while watching this cinematic diamond was how it undoubtedly establishes itself as a bold front runner for film of the year. In my opinion, this project is definitely worthy of this prestigious title and a plethora of recognition. This viewing experience was one I will remember for the rest of my life in all honesty.
Seeing one of my favorite (or what the hell, at this point my favorite) director’s films for the first time in theaters is a moment I will cherish forever. Sharing this viewing experience with friends made this doubly special. That’s what cinema is all about truthfully, leaving you with experiences enveloped in expert minds like that of Anderson’s and sharing them with the world. Licorice Pizza is one of those films that remind me of why I adore movies as much as I do. This is not only the movie of the year, but the movie of life because of the sheer anticipation film lovers had for it such as myself. Paul Thomas Anderson is in a category of his own and remains untouched after all these years, there is simply no argument.