Paul Thomas Anderson hasn’t made a bad movie, and I don’t think he could if he tried. Well, I mean maybe if he tried. He could keep the camera out of focus or give all the actors shrooms or make a shot-for-shot remake of Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. And Licorice Pizza, Anderson’s ninth film (and the third nominated for Best Picture) is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a bad movie. It’s anchored in two amazing lead performances (neither of whom have acted before) and has very funny and touching moments and definitely has a light and easy feel with which Anderson drives the film effortlessly.
But Licorice Pizza does have one big problem. Perhaps, more accurately, the movie has two problems rolled into one. The first has to do with the core of the relationship between the film’s two main characters. And the second is the film’s (and filmmaker’s) complete lack of interest in even wanting to address the first problem. If this sounds layered and confusing, it shouldn’t surprise you.
After all, it’s a Paul Thomas Anderson movie.Continue reading “FBC OSCAR COVERAGE, PART VII: Grappling With Licorice Pizza’s Age Gap”