The story of Alana Kane and Gary Valentine growing up, running around and going through the treacherous navigation of first love in the San Fernando Valley, 1973.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s (There Will Be Blood, Phantom Thread) golden, shimmering vision of the 1970s San Fernando Valley in Licorice Pizza is so dreamy, so full of possibility, it’s as if it couldn’t actually have existed. With its lengthy, magic-hour walk-and-talks and its sense of adventure around every corner and down every block, it’s a place where anything could happen as day turns to night.
And yet within that joyful, playful reverie lurks an unmistakable undercurrent of danger. It’s in the score from Anderson’s frequent collaborator, the brilliant Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, putting you ever so slightly on edge. It’s in the searchlights outside the grand opening of a Ventura Boulevard pinball parlor, incessantly beckoning to the sky. And it’s in big, brash moments through showy supporting performances from Bradley Cooper and Sean Penn, both going for broke. Anything could happen as day turns to night—but are you ready for that?
A stunning piece of work from one of the very best directors working today.