Palo Alto

"Excellent"

Palo Alto Review


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.

Each of the actors creates a teen who is far more realistic than the usual movie stereotypes, finding that delicate balance between childish humour and darker feelings. These adolescents are fascinated by things they can't understand, such as inebriation and sex, and they're not afraid to break the rules. But none of this makes them bad kids, and for most of them these antics will actually make them stronger adults as a result. This is something most Hollywood films are afraid to admit, but it's something that definitely needs to be said. And this new Coppola has proven herself as a young talent to keep an eye on.

 

 



Palo Alto

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 100 mins

In Theaters: Friday 9th May 2014

Box Office USA: $0.8M

Distributed by: Tribeca Film

Production compaines: Tribeca Film

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
Fresh: 82 Rotten: 31

IMDB: 6.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Vince Jolivette, Miles Levy, Sebastian Pardo, Adriana Rotaru

Starring: as April, as Mr. B, as Stewart, as Sally, as Teddy, Keegan Allen as Archie, as Fred, as Chrissy, as Anthony, as Emily, as Mr. Wilson, as Mrs. Ganem, Claudia Levy as Shauna, Jacqui Getty as Jane, Andrew Lutheran as Ivan, Bo Mitchell as Jack O, Bailey Coppola as Seth, Brennen Taylor as Luke, Atlanta Decadenet as Girl at Party, Anna Thea Bogdanovich as Sally's Friend, Micah Nelson as Michael, Timothy Starks as Police Officer, Emma Gretzky as Emma, as Sherry, Genevieve Penn as Court Clerk Woman, Jesse Jo Stark as Pam, Jake Nordwin as Art Student #1, Jamal Hammadi as Art Student #2, as Jake, Laney Fichera as Judy, Greta Seacat as Janice, as Mitch, Nathalie Love as Joy, Sandra Seacat as Tanya, Jessica Elle Taylor as Brittney, Janet Song as Mrs. Stevenson, Janet Salter as Elderly Woman, as Raquel, Amelia Burstyn as Mary, Grear Patterson as College Boy #1, Nick Stewart as College Boy #2

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

Advertisement
City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.