If there is one director who has yet to make a film that disappointed, or let me down, it is Paul Thomas Anderson. The artist has come a long way since his debut film Hard Eight (1996), and his first big hit, Boogie Nights (1997) which made him a big player in Hollywood. Even when he changed his aesthetic approach to how he told a story with the film There Will Be Blood (2007), Anderson proved his avant-garde prowess to what he can achieve in the most unexpected, and sometimes shocking ways.
I heard a story where Paul Thomas Anderson went to the set of Eyes Wide Shut (1999) to bring Tom Cruise the script for Magnolia (1999) and had a 2-hour long conversation with Stanley Kubrick. Sometimes I wonder if their conversation changed Anderson in any way because, after Magnolia, Anderson’s films became a lot more interesting. There are always comments on the internet of what filmmaker is the new Stanley Kubrick. (Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, etc., etc.) If I had to choose one, it would be Anderson, but honestly, as a filmmaker he stands apart with his own unique style, and better screenwriting capabilities than Kubrick.
His new upcoming film Licorice Pizza stars Alana Haim, and Cooper Hoffman (Son of Philip Seymour Hoffman) in his first acting role. It is a 1970s period piece about “running around and going through the treacherous navigation of first love in the San Fernando Valley, 1973.” Like the kids, today would call, “A teen film set in the mid-1900s.” As with every Paul Thomas Anderson film, the movie looks and sounds like it will be a wonderful experience.
Licorice Pizza hits theaters on November 26th, 2021.