Best films of 2022 in the UK: No 5 – Licorice Pizza
Paul Thomas Anderson’s funniest film yet makes stars of newcomers Cooper Hoffman and Alana Haim as unlikely lovers in 1970s LA
Anderson makes glorious movie stars of his two newcomers. Cooper Hoffman, son of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, is eerily assured as Gary Valentine, a heavy-set kid with iffy skin whose child-actor career in TV and movies is coming to an end, and is therefore turning his various side-hustles into the main event, running his own cockamamie company selling waterbeds. Alana Haim, of the pop band Haim, is superb as the permanently exasperated Alana Kane, a young woman with Barbra Streisand’s beauty and charisma; appropriate, perhaps, as Streisand’s notoriously quick-tempered onetime boyfriend Jon Peters is played by Bradley Cooper in a walk-on role, as one of Gary’s dissatisfied waterbed customers.