It’s tough to make a “definitive ranking” for Paul Thomas Anderson. Even the director’s “worst” films are still really good (it’s a toss up between Hard Eight and Inherent Vice for me, but the fact that you’re probably furious at me for putting Inherent Vice near the bottom proves my point). Boogie Nights: fantastic. Magnolia: incredible. There Will Be Blood: a masterpiece. The Master: so good. Phantom Thread: another masterpiece for the hungry boys and girls out there. His next cinematic triumph: Licorice Pizza.
Set in 1970s San Fernando Valley, where PTA grew up, Licorice Pizza is a coming-of-age drama that stars Cooper Hoffman (Philip Seymour Hoffman’s son) as a young actor, Alana Haim (of Haim) as his love interest, and Bradley Cooper as Jon Peters, a real-life film producer who instructs Hoffman’s character how to correctly pronounce his girlfriend Barbra Streisand’s last name. The rest of the cast includes Sean Penn, Tom Waits, and Benny Safdie. The title comes from a chain of Southern California record stores.
You can watch the trailer above. Here’s the official plot synopsis:
Licorice Pizza is the story of Alana Kane and Gary Valentine growing up, running around and falling in love in the San Fernando Valley, 1973. Written and Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, the film tracks the treacherous navigation of first love.
Licorice Pizza opens on November 26.