Once again into the valley with Paul Thomas Anderson

I’m hanging out in the Long Beach hangout looking for the perfect Christmas present. Something cozy? Possibly. Though I might think about just making a few batches of these bars, handing them out, and ending the day. If I can’t roast chestnuts on an open fire (still too warm for something like that), oats and hazelnuts are enough from a space heater.


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I’m Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Times awards columnist, host of the Envelope’s Friday newsletter, ready, willing, and able to help new USC football coach Lincoln Riley find a home in LA despite what it looks like whether $ 6 million isn’t going as far as it used to be.

A day in the valley with Paul Thomas Anderson

“Licorice Pizza” is the best American film of 2021, another San Fernando Valley film by Paul Thomas Anderson, who previously roamed the smoggy suburban landscape in “Boogie Nights”, “Magnolia” and “Punch-Drunk Love”. Anderson and I did our own valley hike not so long ago, touring Encino and the surrounding area talking about the easy, laid-back, and lovable “Licorice Pizza” and how his own memories – and various other myths – denote Influenced the movie.

“I remember thinking at one point, ‘You know, I’m not going to be like my dad dragging my kids up and down Ventura Boulevard to Little League training,'” said Anderson. “And yet here I am, and I am so happy about it.”

Cooper Hoffman and Alana Haim drive through the Tarzana Hills in “Licorice Pizza”.

(Melinda Sue Gordon / Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures)

Oscars should go global this year

I named “Licorice Pizza” the best American film of the year. Is it the best movie, period? Perhaps … although I am inclined to give this title to Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s delicate drama “Drive My Car”, a moving look at grief, loss, love (all four types CS Lewis explored) and the ability of art to be one to be achieved through the worst that life has to offer.

“Drive My Car” is one of many international films that deserved high attention from members of the Film Academy at this season’s Oscars. I highlighted some of the worthy contenders in a recent column, although I really only scratched the surface. Even if you’re in Southern California, Drive My Car will play in no time. Well worth the time and effort. Perhaps go to your local bookstore and get a copy of Uncle Vanya beforehand. You will want to visit again after seeing this movie.

Masaki Okada and Hidetoshi Nishijima in

Masaki Okada and Hidetoshi Nishijima in “Drive My Car”.

(Sideshow / Janus Films)

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Kirsten Dunst lets everything hang around

Jane Campion’s chamber music western “The Power of the Dog” is now available on Netflix. My colleague Mark Olsen spoke to Kirsten Dunst, one of the stars of the film, both for a print interview and at the start of the second season of the podcast The Envelope, which Mark is moderating with Yvonne Villarreal.

“I was so inspired as an actress by the female performances in her films,” Dunst said of Campion’s films. “Kate Winslet in ‘Holy Smoke,’ I mean, the woman peed in a field in front of the camera. I love female performances that are just to hang out with. That’s the way of acting, these are the performances that inspire me. Working with her, I knew we were going to get to some real things. Being part of one of her films was just life changing. And now I have her as a mentor. “

Kirsten Dunst stars in

Kirsten Dunst plays the leading role in “The Power of the Dog”.

(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

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