If there is only one film you see this year, let it be Licorice Pizza. For months director Paul Thomas Anderson has had us dithering about, revisiting Boogie Nights and hoping his latest project, then titled Soggy Bottom, would be every bit the visual feast we'd prayed for. Of course, a first glimpse at the newly released trailer for the film has only confirmed what we knew to be correct all along. Licorice Pizza is a steaming hot masterpiece.
Does this sound too keen? Probably. Especially since the film has yet to see the light of day. But try not feeling the same way after diving into the trailer. Especially with David Bowie's Life on Mars blaring in the background. Set during the 1970's in California's San Fernando Valley - which is incidentally Anderson's old stomping ground - expect a lurching, spirited and oftentimes awkward coming-of-age story; splashed with a distinctly 70s sepia palette.
Leading the film is Cooper Hoffman, son of the late Phillip Seymour-Hoffman. As is the case with Michael Gandolfini, Cooper is proving to be just as brilliant in the acting department as his father. He's playing a 15-year-old actor, balancing his final years of high school with his budding career. Starring alongside Cooper as the films' earthy and somewhat older love interest is the youngest Haim sister, Alana, for what will be her acting debut. Anderson has been in Alana's figurative Rolodex for some time now, after he directed the music video for Haim's 2017 track Right Now.
Orbiting around Alana and Cooper are some of Hollywoods biggest names. Including Bradley Cooper as Jon Peters, who as it happens, was the real-life movie producer who brought us A Star is Born featuring Barbra Streisand. Nevertheless, Bradley Cooper has truly embraced his role in all its macho, porno moustached glory. Joining him is Maya Rudolph, the raspy-voiced king, Tom Waits, Christopher Walken, director of Uncut Gems Benny Safdie. And what would a 70s film set in The Valley be without Sean Penn?
Of course, the casting is a gift in itself. But with a name like Licorice Pizza and knowing Anderson, we are guaranteed to be hit with a ripping film soundtrack. Which, by the way, we expect to pair well with the upcoming summer given that the film is set to be released in theatres on Christmas Day. Anderson sure knows how to get us in the mood for the holidays!
You can watch the trailer for Licorice Pizza below. In fact, we recommend it.