His Dark Materials
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Fails when it comes to direction and acting
It was pretty ok for a debut
I've seen the movie a few times and there is some outstanding directing and acting!
I've seen this movie an ungodly number of times and have memorized it's qualities and faults. I truly feel this movie is underrated for all it's worth. Some have said it's you're typical angsty teen movie but to those I say you didn't appreciate the flick for all it's worth. Almost every movie I've seen about being a teenager was inaccurate in one way or another, but I felt this movie portrayed the directionless feeling teenagers face, without mocking it or exaggerating. An accurate depiction of what it feels to be young, unfulfilled, and searching for purpose. Especially for teenagers that grew up in a suburb or town, who weren't as dull and surface level people as a majority of the popular crowd.
I've always felt that the description of this movie does not do the movie justice and I also don't feel that the main character was April. In many ways, this story was about many characters, her storyline with Mr. B was not the main plot but rather one part of it. The music really set the mood for this film. Overall 10/10 on capturing a feeling of youth, and for portraying likable and familiar characters we've been or have come across.
Lastly, Fred's character gets trashed by a lot of critics but those critics are looking at Fred at a surface level. To put it simply, Fred is really sad inside, which is why he gets bored easily and is always bothering Teddy, he needs to be doing something to distract himself from whatever he doesn't want to face. His character sometimes says lines that are very empty, Fred doesn't know who he is and is always playing a character. He's always putting on a show
Palo Alto is a story that follows teens who just seem really lost in life and detached. These characters act out and are trying to figure out what they want out of life
which is pretty realistic. However, the thing I didn't like about this movie was that the characters were hard to connect to. They didn't have a lot of stand out or redeemable qualities. It's difficult to care about a movie when you're not invested in the characters. While they're on a self discovery journey, the process seems very slow and not life changing. The best things about this movie are the cinematography and unique soundtrack.
A film that could have been brilliant if the director had ever heard a teenager speak, although the actors did seem to do the best with the script they were given.
A teen movie with strong characters and a powerful direction.
Good movie, all until the ending. There should've been more.
I dearly hope Gia Coppola continues making films if they continue to be as authentic and wondrous as Palo Alto.
Yes, they're relatively rich, spoiled and lost
(For the most part.)
Here are some things to know about this movie:
Gia Coppola (Francis Ford Coppola's granddaughter) directed, her first outing. She also wrote the screenplay based on James Franco's short story collection also entitled "Palo Alto." She was 25-years-old at the time.
Emma Roberts who plays April and was 22-years-old when this film was released in 2013 is Julia Roberts' niece. Her father is Eric Roberts (467 credits as an actor).
Palo Alto, California is an upscale Silicon Valley community and home to Stanford University.
Franco, who plays soccer coach Mr. B, is from Palo Alto. He has a degree in English with a concentration in creative writing from UCLA.
There are no helicoptering parents in this movie.
Initially I had a lot of trouble watching this because of all the unnecessary cigarette smoking apparently as product placements. It's sad that some producers can't get funding without taking big tobacco's money. However, I'll give that a pass since some of the smoking had relevance to the story-or "stories." The viewer can see that Coppola cleverly weaved parts of Franco's various stories and characters into a mostly coherent whole that plays as a larger story.
The other problem for me was the intensity and raw teenage emotional abandonment depicted. This is life lived in the fast lane when you're still living at home and have an incredible need for experiences, sometimes regardless of the consequences. In this regard "Palo Alto" can be compared to "Nerve" (2016) which also starred the very pretty Emma Roberts.
--Dennis Littrell, author of the movie review collection, "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote"