Oscars 2022: Licorice Pizza

Awards season is here again, which means my Oscars Challenge is back! I was unable to see all of the Best Picture nominated films last year due to many issues but this year I’m making a point to see them all. The first being Licorice Pizza.

In all honestly this film was on my must-see list before it received the Best Picture nod. Heck, just the name alone had me intrigued. The film chronicles Alana Kane (Alana Haim) and Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman) as they grow up in 1970s California. Gary is a 15-year-old who was once a child actor, while Alana is navigating young adulthood. They meet at Gary’s school picture day, where Alana works for the photography company taking the pictures.

Right off the bat, Gary is a smooth talking young man who has quickly fallen for the considerably older Alana, who fends off his flirtations. Through several meetings from a “date,” to Alana becoming Gary’s chaperone on a trip to New York City for an acting gig, the pair grow close. Gary and Alana realize, as they continue navigating their young lives and encounter different people, that they are better together.

Licorice Pizza takes the viewer on a two-and-a-half hour journey back to life in the 70s. At its face, this is a coming of age film that has every bit of heart with a touch of sass. Haim and Hoffman feed off each other perfectly – with Haim stealing the show. The filming and production were also impeccable, with particularly excellent choices in framing scenes. This an all around entertaining film to view and is worth your time if you can see it.

My Rating: A

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