Gia Coppola - The Museum Of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles Annual Gala Presented By Louis Vuitton at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 30th May 2015
Gia Coppola's adaptation of James Franco's Palo Alto is another string to the Coppola family bow
One of the more striking things about the new multi-strand teen drama Palo Alto is how it features a series of second and third-generation artists and rising stars. It's certainly a film that looks forwards, crafting a very different style of teen drama than anything we've seen before.
Intriguingly, the film most closely resembles writer-director Gia Coppola's Aunt Sofia's debut film The Virgin Suicides (1999), another evocative teen movie that centred on emotions rather than overt plot points. Gia is also of course the granddaughter of master filmmaker Francis (of The Godfather and Apocalyse Now fame). Her famous cousins include Nicolas Cage and Jason Schwartzman, whose mother Talia Shire (best known as Adrian in Rocky) also appears in Palo Alto.
Continue reading: Gia Coppola's Palo Alto Is A Next-Generation Movie
James Franco's collection of autobiographical short stories is adapted into a remarkably evocative film by Gia Coppola, granddaughter of Francis. And the film's next-generation credentials don't end there. It stars Emma Roberts (daughter of Eric) and Jack Kilmer (son of Val), superb young actors who bring their characters to vivid life even as multiple story strands weave around them. And what makes the film important is its willingness to present teens authentically, often in ways parents probably wish they didn't know about.
It's set in suburban Northern California, where high school teen April (Roberts) worries that she's the last virgin in her class. She's secretly in love with Teddy (Kilmer), and he likes her too, but everyone thinks he's having a fling with the class slut (Zoe Levin). So while babysitting one night for her soccer coach (Franco), she is both startled and thrilled when he makes a move on her. Meanwhile, Teddy's best pal Fred (Nat Wolff) is causing chaos everywhere he goes, as the school's teens go from party to party indulging in alcohol and drugs, testing the boundaries of authority. And their parents seem fairly oblivious to all of this.
Coppola shoots and edits the film in a way that's deeply personal, focussing on the inner lives of the characters rather than the gyrations of the various plot strands. This gives the film a surprisingly cohesive tone, linking everything together into a single tale of young people trying to work out a path to adulthood in a society full of mixed messages. And things rarely go as expected. For example, Teddy is sure he'll go to prison when he crashes his car while driving stoned, but he is given a second chance. And he discovers that doing community service is actually rather enjoyable.
Continue reading: Palo Alto Review
April (Emma Roberts) is a shy young girl attending high school in Palo Alto, California. While she has an unrequited crush on Teddy (Jack Kilmer), a flirtatious relationship with her soccer coach, Mr. B (James Franco) is steadily developing into something more physical and altogether more dangerous. At the same time, in the same town, a girl named Emily (Zoe Levin) is the polar opposite of April. Emily indulges in sexual interactions with Teddy and his friend Fred (Nat Wolff) who are themselves engaging in acts of juvenile destruction. But as the kids are forced together as their paths collide, questions arise about the nature of love, lust, boredom, and recklessness in the modern youth culture.
Continue: Palo Alto Trailer
Coppola is the recipient of huge praise
Adapted from a collection of short stories penned by James Franco, Gia Coppola’s ‘Palo Alto’ has proved a hit with the critics, accumulating a score of 75 on Metacritic, and attracting quote-worthy review segments, like David Ehrlich’s “Palo Alto is one of the best movies ever made about high school life in America”.
Gia Coppola at the 70th Venice Film Festival
“The movie perfectly captures the vibe of late high school, in a way that's both of its time and timeless. Palo Alto is set in the present, an era in which kids can text one another their whereabouts instead of having to walk or drive around aimlessly until they run into someone they know, or might want to know,” writes Stephanie Zacharek of The Village Voice.