Palo Alto (2014)
Critic Consensus: A promising debut for director Gia Coppola, Palo Alto compensates for its drifting plot with solid performances and beautiful cinematography.
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as Mr. B
as Jack O
as Girl at Party
as Sally Grossman
as Police Officer
as Court Clerk Woman
as Art Student #1
as Mr. Wilson
as Art Student #2
as Mrs. Stevenson
as Mrs. Ganem
as Elderly Woman
as College Boy #1
as Girl at Party
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Critic Reviews for Palo Alto
The drama is scaled to just the right size: kids get into trouble or inadvisable situations, but there are no major melodramatics. We see them in their natural habitat.
James Franco's collection of autobiographical short stories is adapted into a remarkably evocative film by Gia Coppola, granddaughter of Francis.
Another week, another glacial outing from the ever-expanding Coppola clan depicting the oh so beautiful emptiness of American teenage wildlife.
Palo Alto is as fuzzy, scattered and aimless as its protagonists' lives.
The story tends to meander but the kids' ups and downs are delicately observed and the performances, especially from Roberts, are never less than believable.
Audience Reviews for Palo Alto
The reviews for this aren't great, but I kind of liked it. It has that 90's indie film feel to it (it's not set in the 90's, or not so I could tell, but it really reminded me of films like Kids, All over me, Freeway etc). Just the kind of thing I love.
My main criticism is that it doesn't have a true ending. It really felt like something was going to happen, but it didn't. And Emma Roberts is not a favourite of mine either, but she's not too awful in this one. I wasn't very impressed with all the smoking either. Is it really necessary to glamorise that disgusting habit? Those few sticking points lost it the star.
But I did enjoy it overall and I think I need to watch it again, because it is subtle on some points. I suspect I missed a lot.
The young cast do a good job. The actors playing Teddy and Emily were standouts.
The meandering quality of the film's plot - which I believe might put off most people - is in fact what I liked the most about it, and Gia Coppola's firm direction, the solid performances and the nice cinematography also help make this a solid debut for her as a filmmaker.
Gripping teenage drama.
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