Film Review: ‘Palo Alto’

James Franco

We will address the C-word right away: Gia Coppola is the granddaughter of Francis Ford Coppola, niece of Sofia, cousin of Nicolas Cage, etc. Just 25 when she wrote and directed Palo Alto, this newest member of the filmmaking famiglia has opted for safe material for her debut: This one’s solidly in the high-school-angst genre. Watching this humdrum movie, I couldn’t help but wish she’d followed her grandfather’s route and chosen to cut her teeth on something less pretentious and meaningful—you know, like a down-’n’-dirty horror picture. Perhaps such a project would summon a little more oomph. (Pause here for a fond memory of Dementia 13, directed by the youthful F.F.C. in 1963 at the behest of Roger Corman.)

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