peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2022 02 21 LicoricePizza

Licorice Pizza (2021)

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Paul Thomas Anderson's latest. Exactly what it says on the tin: fanciful coming-of-age in the Valley in 1973. Alana Haim (musician, notionally 25) leads with go-getting Cooper Hoffman (sprog of Philip Seymour Hoffman, notionally 15). Apparently filmed in that old school analog way that borrows a tinge from the American New Wave. It's sufficiently engaging that it doesn't drag but often enough there are scenes that don't progress things or don't really fit, such as all those featuring established actors (Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Bradley Cooper). For all the possibilities the surface is barely scratched, let alone dinted or pierced. It's a nostalgic love letter to a long gone L.A.

Manohla Dargis. Entirely low stakes. Ah yes, those disastrously flat and tasteless scenes in the Japanese restaurant, that bloke playing Cooper's manservant. Dana Stevens. Benny Safdie does fine with the little he gets; this is no Uncut Gems. And so on.