Friday, March 25, 2022

Licorice Pizza

Friday night, Sharon and I watched Licorice Pizza. This is part of our continuing journey to see all of the movies that are nominated for Oscars. Licorice Pizza received received three nominations at the 94th Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.

Licorice Pizza is a coming-of-age comedy-drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson [Phantom Thread]. It stars Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman in their film debuts, alongside an ensemble supporting cast including Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Bradley Cooper, and Benny Safdie. Hoffman is the son of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman and costume designer Mimi O'Donnell.

The film is the story of Alana Kane [Haim] and Gary Valentine [Hoffman] growing up, running around and falling in love in the San Fernando Valley in 1973. The story tracks the treacherous navigation of first love.

Licorice Pizza was named one of the best films of 2021 by the American Film Institute. It received four nominations at the 79th Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. At the 27th Critics' Choice Awards, it received eight nominations, including Best Picture; it won Best Comedy. It is MGM's first fully produced, marketed and distributed film to be nominated for Best Picture in 33 years, after 1988's Best Picture winner Rain Man.

We have now seen nine of the ten films nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. I would rank the movie in the middle of the pack. Maybe fifth of the nine? For me, it is clearly better than Don't Look Up, Nightmare Alley and West Side Story. It is not bad, but it is not winning Best Picture.

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