“Licorice Pizza” Movie Review, Official Trailer, Cast and Characters | Entertainment

"Licorice Pizza" Movie Review, Official Trailer, Cast and Characters | Entertainment

Review, Official Trailer, Cast, and Characters of the Film “Licorice Pizza”

‘Licorice Pizza’ Cast & Character Guide: Who Plays Who in the PTA’s Latest Movie

Paul Thomas Anderson was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, which means the director likes to portray the lifestyle and atmosphere of his hometown in his films. First, it was Boogie Nights, then Inherent Vice, and now with Licorice Pizza. The latest title has received a critical buzz since screenings began in late November, with the National Board of Review (NBR) naming it the Best Movie of 2021. If these insights aren’t enough to keep you guessing, the characters and the cast playing them could add to the Licorice Pizza hype. From first-time actors to familiar names in Hollywood, this handy guide will explain who’s playing who and where you’ve seen these familiar faces before.

Before we delve into this breakdown, here is a brief synopsis of what Licorice Pizza is all about. Set in the 1970s, a 15-year-old named Gary Valentine is still trying to get through high school while trying to pursue a promising acting career. During picture day, he meets Alana Kane, a woman in her 20s who works as a photo assistant. The two bond over their hopes and dreams, leading to their partnership spilling over into platonic love.

Alana Kane (Alana Haim)

Alana Kane is one of the protagonists of Licorice Pizza. She is a photo assistant with a lot of wit and drive. She becomes Gary Valentine’s love interest as the two spend more time together in their many businesses throughout the film, such as getting into politics and selling waterbeds. Although she is 25 years old, the more Alana spends with Gary and his friends, the more she learns about adulthood.

Marking her debut as an actress, Alana Haim stars as the main character of PTA. Popularly known for playing alongside her sisters Danielle and Este Haim in the indie-rock band HAIM, the musician had previously worked with Anderson on some of the band’s music videos before performing at Licorice Pizza. Haim admitted in an interview with Cleaveland.com that she constantly thought that she would be fired from her during the filming process. Thankfully, her critically acclaimed performance made her stick around and receive some award nominations for 2022.

Gary Valentin (Cooper Hoffman)

The other main character in this coming-of-age story, Gary Valentine, is a teenager who dreams of becoming an actor. Balancing schoolwork and a couple of acting jobs, Valentine is a jack of all trades. His investment in odd businesses connects him with Alana, for whom he eventually develops feelings.

Haim isn’t the only new actor to be cast in the film. His counterpart, Cooper Hoffman, first tried acting at Licorice Pizza and, according to critics, made it. Both lead actors won for NBR’s Best Breakthrough Performance. Hoffman is the son of the late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was in 5 of the PTA movies: The Master, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love and Hard Eight.

Jack Holden (Sean Penn)

Jack Holden is an alcoholic actor who crosses paths with Gary and Alana. The character is loosely based on old Hollywood actor William Holden, who starred in movies like Sabrina and Stalag 17 (which led to him winning an Academy Award for Best Actor).

It was only a matter of time before Sean Penn joined a PTA movie. According to the director, Penn was considered for the role of Rahad Jackson in Boogie Nights before Alfred Molina got the part. He also tried to cast the actor for Punch-Drunk Love, but that didn’t work either. Fast-forward to 2021, the two-time Academy Award winner for Mystic River and Milk is finally showing up at Licorice Pizza.

Jon Peters (Bradley Cooper)

Like Jack Holden, Jon Peters is inspired by a real Hollywood name. Peters was a renowned producer, who dated Barbra Streisand during the ’70s. The character even jokingly teaches Gary how to pronounce Streisand’s last name correctly. Peters appears as an intimidating and even psychotic figure in the film.

Jon Peters is played by Bradley Cooper, who recently starred in Nightmare Alley alongside Rooney Mara and Willem Dafoe. Though his character here is epitomized by a cameo, Cooper’s performance in Licorice Pizza could earn him another Academy Award nomination for actor in A Star Is Born. This is the first time Bradley Cooper has worked with Paul Thomas Anderson.

Rex Blau (Tom Waits)

Rex Blau is a film director who works with Jack Holden. Blau is the person behind a stunt Holden pulls in a Licorice Pizza scene. The character is played by another musician-turned-actor, Tom Waits, known for his roles in The Outsiders and Down by Law. Waits is closely linked to the 70s (time frame of the film), since his jazz-style albums “The Heart of Saturday Night” and “Small Change” were released in those years. This is his first cameo appearance in a PTA film, after making cameo appearances in various Francis Ford Coppola projects.

Joel Wachs as Benny Safdie

Gary and Alana collaborate on many unusual business ventures, including some politically related. The character Joel Wachs is inspired by the real-life former Los Angeles City Councilman, early in his career. At the time portrayed at Licorice Pizza, Wachs was running for mayor, but was unsuccessful. Benny Safdie plays Wachs, and is one of the masterminds behind Good Time and Uncut Gems. Both films were written and directed by him and his brother Josh Safdie. The actor will also star in the Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Lucille Doolittle as Christine Ebersole

Lucille Doolittle is the fictional Licorice Pizza form of American actress Lucille Ball, popularly known from the show I Love Lucy. This actress has also recently appeared on screen in the Aaron Sorkin biopic Being the Ricardos. Christine Ebersole stars as Lucille in the PTA movie, and the actress has appeared on television, film, and Broadway several times. From Saturday Night Live to the musical Gray Gardens, Ebersole has two Tony Awards in her back pocket and now has a PTA title on her IMDB.

Lance (Skyler Gisondo)

As in any love story, there is always someone who tries to get in the way of destiny. At Licorice Pizza, Lance takes a chance on an affair with Alana, but is unsuccessful in the long run. The character is Gary’s co-star in an acting project he did and the two reconnect after his trip with Alana to New York. Although Lance and Alana go on a couple of dates, they break up and she grows closer to Gary.

Lance is played by Skyler Gisondo, a leading young actor in Hollywood today, who starred in Santa Clarita’s Diet, Booksmart, and most recently in the Netflix original feature film The Starling.

Kane Family (Haim Family)

Although her role is minor, having Alana Kane’s family played by Alana Haim’s family is an ultimate pleasure. Even though their real-life dynamic is a far cry from that of their characters in Licorice Pizza, they do determine some of the film’s personal moments by adding an extra layer to understanding Alana Kane. There’s nothing like a good family scene to understand a character’s background.

Licorice Pizza Movie Review

The infamous Paul Thomas Anderson directs another heartwarming film with a brilliant cast.  “Licorice Pizza” is a coming-of-age romantic comedy about a young woman and a teenage boy on their path to self-discovery.

The film opens by introducing fifteen-year-old Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman) as an ambitious con man, despite his age.  Gary has acted in several supporting roles in major movies, starred in a couple of talk shows, and has many connections with well-established adults, such as owners of expensive restaurants.  Gary uses this ambition to charm twenty-five-year-old Alana (Alana Haim) into hanging out with him on her adventure through the San Fernando Valley in the 1970s and early 1970s.  Alana lives with her parents and two of her sisters (played by Haim’s real-life parents and sisters!) as she navigates the odds to figure out what she wants to do with her life and career. her.

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Although Hoffman and Haim hadn’t acted in many major movies before, Anderson took a chance with them and it paid off.  Their chemistry is so flawless and encapsulating that any plot flaws can easily be overlooked by the outstanding performance of these young actors.

The San Fernando Valley setting in the early 1970s is supplemented by a 35mm camera, known as “enlarged” 35mm film that is converted to 70mm to take advantage of the higher image quality of the smaller film format. big.  Giving the final image a vintage feel, 70mm was an excellent match for Anderson’s celebration of 1970s setting and style. Additionally, Anderson includes hidden nods to prominent sociopolitical themes in the 1970s. For example, one scene revolves around the 1973-1974 oil embargo, which resulted in a gasoline shortage and local Los Angeles election turmoil.

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“Licorice Pizza” has a complexity of character development interwoven with nostalgia and comedic aesthetics, similar to the films “Lady Bird” (Greta Gerwig), “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (Quentin Tarantino) and “The French Dispatch” ( WesAnderson).  Plus, with supporting characters played by Bradley Cooper, Sean Penn, and Tom Waits, there’s a familiar face to even moderate moviegoers.

Compared to Anderson’s well-known Oscar-winning film “Phantom Thread,” “Licorice Pizza” has a much sweeter, more joyful feel.  However, both films “share a similar structure in that their drama is driven not by the external plot, but by Gary and Alana’s ever-changing dynamic.”  For example, in the seemingly non-chaotic scene where Gary, who owns a PR movie, starts a waterbed company and pinball emporium, takes Alana out for drinks at a bar, but can only ask them coca cola because he is fifteen years old.  The complex characters add a layer of irony and humor that keeps the viewer engaged despite the relaxed narrative arc.

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Considering the cast, plot, and direction, “Licorice Pizza” is a successful PG-13 movie.  Coupled with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 91%, this whimsical, laid-back, and entertaining film is well worth a watch.  Hoffman and Haim have a bright future ahead of them, as this movie was the perfect boost for their careers.

Source: Claire Lyons – The University News, Isabella Soares – Collider, Direct News 99

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