Chances of ‘Licorice Pizza’ rewards for Bradley Cooper, Alana Haim
Author Paul Thomas Anderson kicks off his lightest, lightest effort yet with “Licorice Pizza,” a film that could be a full awards player, possibly snatching him a late Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. . Add in the debut performances of Cooper Hoffman – the son of the late Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman – and singer-songwriter Alana Haim, and the film could delight voters’ hearts in the months to come.
Comparisons to Cameron Crowe’s coming-of-age film “Almost Famous” will be numerous, in addition to parallels to another 2000 film, “High Fidelity”, as well as “Dazed and Confused” (1993). Anderson has been nominated for eight Academy Awards during his career, not leaving with a statue:
- “Boogie Nights” (1997) – original screenplay
- “Magnolia” (1999) – original screenplay
- “There Will Be Blood” (2007) – adapted image, director and screenplay
- “Inherent Vice” (2014) – adapted screenplay
- “Phantom Thread” (2017) – image and production
Despite its lighter tones, Anderson’s film may not be popular with everyone. Winding moments of walking, awkward conversations, and an unclear sense of the time that elapsed between scenes could frustrate voters and critics alike. Anderson falls into a category of writers with a dedicated fan base that doesn’t necessarily appeal to the masses or the Academy at large, despite multiple nominations. Wes Anderson, Lars von Trier, Terrence Malick and maybe even Yorgos Lanthimos are among these filmmakers. Although their films are revered and loved by many, a future Best Picture winner doesn’t seem to come from their repertoire. However, awards season can be an opportunity to reward such a visionary, often in a storyline category. Quentin Tarantino had landed a pair of Oscars for writing “Pulp Fiction” (1994) and “Django Unchained” (2012) when the Academy had more traditional options like “Forrest Gump” and “Argo”. Likewise, an unconventional director like Taika Waititi was able to overtake Greta Gerwig, Anthony McCarten and Steven Zaillian for his adapted comedy-drama “Jojo Rabbit” (2019). AMPAS has also found a way to recognize longtime veteran filmmakers like James Ivory (“Call Me by Your Name”) and Spike Lee (“BlacKkKlansman”) in recent years. The original script could be Anderson’s Golden Ticket.
In an all-naturalistic performance, which uses no movie makeup (except in a scene or two where her character is supposed to be wearing lipstick), Haim shines brightly and could win several groundbreaking performance awards this season. However, with the Best Actress category filled with celebrities (Kristen Stewart), past winners (Olivia Colman and Frances McDormand), and two other female singers turned actresses (Lady Gaga and Jennifer Hudson), it will be difficult for Haim to fit in. carve out a lane for itself to break into the five. However, at this point in other seasons of the Oscars, I was hopeful, but doubted potential candidates like Yalitza Aparicio (“Roma”), Keisha Castle-Hughes (“Whale Rider”), Catalina Sandino Moreno (“Maria Fully of Grace “) and Quvenzhané Wallis (” Beasts of the Wild South “), and they finally made it through.
Prepare for the world to fall in love with Hoffman. You can’t help but root for his over-the-top, suave businessman character, who just happens to be a high school student. However, his character, inspired by film and television producer Gary Goetzman – a frequent collaborator of Tom Hanks – is not as straightforward as the film’s lead actor as we would have assumed. As the story begins with him, halfway through we look at the world through Alana’s eyes, drawing on her experiences and narrative agencies. As the studio campaigns for him for the lead actor, one wonders if a support run would have been more appropriate as he straddles the line between the two.
The first trailer showed us a fascinating scene from producer Jon Peters, who was dating Barbra Streisand during this time, but that moment comes to four-fifths of the movie and provides six to seven minutes of Cooper on screen. If they could have added another Cooper beat and figured out a way to move his entry to the very end, then we might have been in reserve for a William Hurt-style turn, when he blew up the doors of a already incredible film in “A History of Violence” (2005). Instead, with two-time Oscar winner Sean Penn (“Mystic River” and “Milk”) also offering an equally brief drop-in, with Benny Safdie, it will be hard to choose your favorite quasi-cameo They can all be a scene or two short to support the actor’s glory.
In his editing debut, Andy Jurgensen keeps an engaging pace, but could have used a shorter runtime, as the film is 133 minutes long. However, I would still expect a group like American Cinema Editors to recognize the photo in the full-length comedy category. Instead, look for the movie to make a serious piece for categories like production design (from Florencia Martin and set designer Ryan Watson) and costumes (from Oscar winner Mark Bridges).
In addition to writing, directing and producing, Anderson shot the film with cinematographer Michael Bauman in its early days. Watching it in stunning 35mm is a treat, but it’s worth noting that co-DPs are very rarely recognized by the Academy. The most recent nominees were the Polish black and white drama “Ida” (2013) by Łukasz Żal and Ryszard Lenczewski, and the surprising entry “The Reader” (2008) by Roger Deakins and Chris Menges. In this year of competition, with monochrome, science fiction and women who perhaps have their due, this race can be difficult.
Don’t count on composer Jonny Greenwood to make a piece for a possible third entry, with his works on “The Power of the Dog” and “Spencer” as there isn’t enough music to qualify for the branch. musical.
Also produced by Sara Murphy and Adam Somner, “Licorice Pizza” will be released in a limited edition on November 26 before being released nationwide on Christmas Day.