Licorice Pizza seems like a time capsule of sorts, leaving the viewer in 1970s Encino, California. The film is oozing with style and craftsmanship from auteur director Paul Thomas Anderson and will have viewers leaving the cinema with starry eyes. Using the relationship between the two main characters as the plot and seeing how they handle multiple situations is a welcome deviation from the normal three act structure. The film follows Alana Kane (Alana Haim) and Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman), beginning where they first meet; Gary is getting ready for his school photo while Alana works as a photographer's assistant. Gary takes an instant liking to Alana and strikes up a conversation that ultimately leads to a date at Gary's favorite restaurant. Though Alana is 25 years old and trying to get her life together and figure out what she wants to do, Gary is just a 15-year-old opportunist who tries to take advantage of moments that pop up in his life. They then go through situations like Gary getting wrongfully arrested for murder, Alana trying to become an actress, Alana getting involved with John Holden (Sean Penn) and Rex Blau (Tom Waits), and Gary and Alana selling a waterbed to Jon Peters (Bradley Cooper). Through all these situations the audience sees the complexities of their relationship as it goes through ebbs and flows of love and hate. Paul Thomas Anderson toes a dangerous line with the film causing controversy due the lead characters' age difference. While the outrage is understood and it would have been better to have Gary's character a few years older, it doesn't completely detract from the film. It shows two characters who are at different points in their lives and are trying to make it in their own ways, and they need each other to achieve these goals. Gary starts a waterbed business and then takes advantage of the legalization of pinball, while Alana's relationship with Gary seems to broaden her horizons and get her away from being a photographer's assistant, encouraging her attempt at acting and then volunteering on a political campaign. Aside from the debate about the age of the characters, Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman deliver performances that one cannot look past. For both actors, this is their first lead in a feature film, and while watching Licorice Pizza, they look to be seasoned veterans. They deliver nuanced performances that at points rely more on facial expressions than vocalization. Another actor who shines is Tom Waits. While his performance is short, his scenes are among the film's best. His raspy voice demands attention, and his mannerisms are grandiose, fitting his character of a 1970s movie director perfectly. Finally, another staple of a Paul Thomas Anderson film is the cinematography complete with lens flares. There are awe-inspiring scenes that leave viewers with the joyous thought, "Now this is what cinema is all about." There are also scenes where he and co-director of photography Michael Bauman capture characters' faces and emotions and in the same scene switch to shaky camera to capture a hectic moment in the film as if they were captured on a home video camera. This happens a few times and is reminiscent of a John Cassavetes movie. Licorice Pizza is a film that is comfortable, because once you get in it, its hard for you to leave it. Paul Thomas Anderson makes another movie that seems to be a masterclass in film, and while it has sparked some controversy, it still makes for a well-made, thought-provoking movie. .