Paul Thomas Anderson and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman made five movies together, including “Hard Eight,” “Boogie Nights,” “Magnolia,” “Punch-drunk Love,” and “The Master,” which netted Hoffman his only acting nomination for an Anderson project. Now, seven years after Hoffman’s death, Anderson has built a movie around his son, Cooper Hoffman. Called “Licorice Pizza” and starring the younger Hoffman and musician and actress Alana Haim, Anderson’s latest film debuted its first trailer on Monday and teased a return to the 1970s for the acclaimed filmmaker.
Here’s the synopsis for the MGM release, which will premiere in theaters on November 26: “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.”
Set to David Bowie’s “Life on Mars?” the trailer for “Licorice Pizza” introduces Alana (Haim) and Gary (Hoffman), a pair of awkward young adults whose budding relationship coincides with Gary’s brush with child stardom. While the main characters are relative newcomers, Anderson’s supporting cast includes Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Benny Safdie, Maya Rudolph, and Bradley Cooper as Jon Peters, the producer and then boyfriend of Barbra Streisand, who starred in his 1976 remake of “A Star is Born”. (Cooper is introduced in the trailer by invoking Streisand’s name to prove his own bona fides.)
Even in these early days, “Licorice Pizza” is a strong contender among Gold Derby users and experts for a Best Picture nomination as well as for Anderson in the Best Director and Best Original Screenplay categories. Anderson is an eight-time Oscar nominee across the Best Picture, Best Director, and screenwriting categories, although he’s never won an Academy Award. His most recent film, “Phantom Thread,” scored him Best Picture and Best Director nominations.
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