Palo Alto, Director Gia Coppola

Palo Alto film poster 

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Shy, sensitive April (Emma Roberts) is the class virgin —a popular soccer player and frequent babysitter for her single-dad coach, Mr. B. (James Franco). Teddy (Jack Kilmer) is an introspective artist whose best friend and sidekick Fred (Nat Wolff) is an unpredictable live wire with few filters or boundaries. While April negotiates a dangerous affair with Mr. B., and Teddy performs community service for a DUI — secretly carrying a torch for April, who may or may not share his affection — Fred seduces Emily (Zoe Levin), a promiscuous loner who seeks validation through sexual encounters. One high school party bleeds into another as April and Teddy finally acknowledge their mutual affection, and Fred’s escalating recklessness spirals into chaos. Director Gia Coppola joins us to talk about her nuanced and insightful feature film debut and the pressure that comes with being part of an American cinematic dynasty.

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“It’s a drifty, appealing story, set in the Northern California city that gives the movie its title, about that twilight period between childhood’s end and the start of young adulthood.” – Manohla Dargis, New York Times

“Franco’s stories, sometimes coarse and flimsy on the page, operate like launch pads for a slew of fresh, frisky performers. But the delicacy of the movie’s narrative and its almost mystical thread of yearning come from Coppola.” – Michael Sragow, OC Register

“Conjures a delicate, very specific sense of middle-class adolescence, the indeterminate, nascent feelings of the teenage years.” – Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times

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