Palo Alto (2013) Film Review


James Franco is one of those people who has achieved more goals than most can only dream of. Many see him only as an actor but he is actually an accomplished director, screenwriter, producer, teacher, poet and author.

One of the books he wrote was Palo Alto, which is a collection of short stories. Little did he know when he wrote Palo Alto that a third generation Coppola would make her directorial debut with a film adaptation of it.

Gia Coppola has triumphed as a director and screenwriter in her own right with this beautifully filmed adaptation. It seems everyone in the Coppola family is naturally talented, is there nothing they can’t do?


The film follows a group of teenagers and their troubles as they struggle to find their own paths. It focuses on the dangers of youth including alcohol, drugs, smoking and the consequences.


Val Kilmer’s son, Jack, also makes his debut on this film. He plays Teddy, a good kid at heart who is artistically talented but is badly influenced by his friend Fred.

It’s a film that makes you remember what it felt like to be a teenager. If you loved The Virgin Suicides (1999), an alluring Directorial debut by Sofia Coppola then you will enjoy Palo Alto. Gia Coppola grew up in a family of film makers, its no surprise that her film would have visual similarities to Sofia’s films including The Virgin Suicides.

You can check out Palo Alto as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival:

Sunday 29th June 8.20pm Odeon

You can get your tickets online at http://edfilmfest.org.uk or by calling the Box Office at 0131 623 8030


1 reply »

  1. Good review Jenny. Coppola’s direction is small, intimate and very stylish. Yet, it never gets in the way of these characters and what makes them who they are.


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