‘Licorice Pizza’ (2021) Movie Review: with a very Special “Touch”

Licorice Pizza (2021)
Martin Cid

Paul Thomas Anderson writes and directs Licorice Pizza, a romantic movie about acting, lies and movies featuring Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman.

And, yes, if this face is familiar to you, this is the son of the great actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died several years ago.

A very good independent film.

Licorice Pizza Plot

Girl meets boy, but they have an age gap, in spite of the obvious maturity of him, he is a child actor. Together, they embark on a business selling water beds.

Licorice Pizza (2021)
Licorice Pizza (2021)

Movie Review

Adorable? Not in the least. This is a film about the trickery in making movies and the lies behind a movie of any genre (in this case, romance). A theatrical movie based on lies, hints of falsehoods and which gives off the impression of sincerity in its (sincere) insincerity.

Licorice  Pizza takes a gamble on the “impossible” task of making digestible a story about a master and manages to do so.

Yes, it sounds like it is a nerdy film and it is. Paul Thomas Anderson fools us again in his play of double characters as he did in There Will Be Blood, almost without saying so, telling a background story that almost noboyd notices but in the end is the really important one. It is not so twisted or evident, this is not Phantom Thread  nor The Master, here the thing is (precisely) about sincere love in a world that lies about if it exists or is a false call that is whispered.

It uses the soundtrack constantly (to fool us again with the genre).

Hollywood lies and the business lies and this movie is at times great and boring at other times and falsely clumsy (as happens quite often with this director). Don´t let yourself be fooled, he is taking a gamble in telling us somewhere else and what is really happening is something else.

This is a very intelligent movie.

Our Opinion

Not for all audiences. The viewer needs to pay close attention to the details to not miss them. If you watch it as just another movie, it may let you down.

It has a special touch.


Paul Thomas Anderson
Paul Thomas Anderson at The 33rd Annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards. Intercontinental Los Angeles Hotel, Century City, CA. 01-12-08. Depostiphotos
  • Paul Thomas Anderson is an American filmmaker and screenwriter, best known for his award-winning films Magnolia, Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood.
  • He was born in Studio City, California in 1970 and has worked since 1993, when he wrote and directed his first feature, Hard Eight.

    He has been nominated for the Academy Awards nine times, with five of these nominations being for Best Director.
  • Anderson is a three-time Golden Globe winner, winning Best Screenplay in 1999 for Magnolia and Best Picture and Best Director in 2007 for There Will Be Blood.
  • Anderson’s primary cinematic influences are Robert Altman and Martin Scorsese.

    He has collaborated with many actors over the years, including Philip Seymour Hoffman, Mark Wahlberg, Daniel Day-Lewis, Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly.

    The Master was released in 2012 and was nominated for three Oscars, including Best Picture.
  • Paul Thomas Anderson is a filmmaker known for Licorice Pizza (2021), Magnolia (1999), The Master and many others.


'Licorice Pizza' (2021) Movie Review: with a very Special "Touch"
Alana Haim
'Licorice Pizza' (2021) Movie Review: with a very Special "Touch"
Cooper Hoffman / Gary Valentine
'Licorice Pizza' (2021) Movie Review: with a very Special "Touch"
Sean Penn / Jack Holden
'Licorice Pizza' (2021) Movie Review: with a very Special "Touch"
Tom Waits / Rex Blau

Bradley Cooper
Benny Safdie
Skyler Gisondo
Mary Elizabeth Ellis
John Michael Higgins
Christine Ebersole

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