Another Coppola has joined the cinematic fray: the new trailer for Palo Alto, Gia Coppola’s debut, was released earlier today. The director—niece and granddaughter of Sofia and Francis Ford Coppola, respectively—adapted her first feature from James Franco’s Palo Alto: Stories, a collection of vaguely linked vignettes about teenage life in the eponymous town. Franco is also in the film, as a seemingly sleazy soccer coach; Emma Roberts stars as the player who attracts his attention.
An inclination to eye-roll this one—to dismiss it as a well-connected director teaming with an overexposed actor—is understandable but premature. For one, though Franco suffers from a sometimes grating self-importance, his commitment to a role, whether it be a marooned biker or dreadlocked drug lord, is inarguable. Second, though the bildungsroman is a shopworn genre, every year a gem—last year’s The Spectacular Now, for instance—emerges with heretofore unseen insight, and the whole coming-of-age experience becomes new and bracing and impactful again.
Palo Alto could be that film this year, as it opened to rave reviews on the festival circuit. Coppola, for her part, seems to have copped some technique from her aunt: the neon lettering, understated depiction of adolescent chaos, and wry teen-speak all bring to mind The Virgin Suicides andThe Bling Ring. We'll see if she can step out of her family's shadow come May 9.
TODAY IN SLATE
Meet the New Bosses
How the Republicans would run the Senate.
The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers
Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.
Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.
Why all cracker names sound alike.
Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom
This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059
- Protesters Take to the Streets to Sound Alarm on Climate Change in New York, Across the World
- Knife-Carrying White House Jumper is Vet who Feared “Atmosphere Was Collapsing”
- North Korea: American Sentenced to Hard Labor Wanted to Become “Second Snowden”
- Almost One in Four Americans Support Idea of Splitting From the Union
Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?
A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.