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‘Licorice Pizza’ Trailer: Inside Paul Thomas Anderson’s Mystifying Feature

Paul Thomas Anderson is on the list of filmmakers whose movies are a must watch. While some are middling, most are instant classics, with titles such as “Boogie Nights,” “The Master,” and “There Will Be Blood” ranking of some of the best films of their respective years.

His next feature, “Licorice Pizza,” looks to continue in that tradition. However, this film appears to be something of a departure from his more recent works.

The cast of “Licorice Pizza” includes A-list talent, from Bradley Cooper and Sean Penn to Maya Rudolph and Ben Stiller. However, the two leads in the film, Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman, are relatively unknown.

Speaking of Hoffman, he’s the son of the late great Philip Seymour Hoffman, a favorite collaborator of Anderson’s. “Licorice Pizza” represents Cooper’s debut feature. Heck, it’s even his debut role. His IMDb page doesn’t even include a photo.

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As for the plot, it is described as “Set in 1970s San Fernando Valley, the film follows a high school student, who is also a successful child actor.” However, the actual plot points are far less defined than in Anderson’s prior works, with the two leads seemingly playing on some sort of friend-zone dynamic.

“Licorice Pizza” is set to premiere in theaters on Dec. 23, 2021.