August 24, 2014

Palo Alto

 photo fee32234-a235-4cdd-9bdf-757bd9fccadd_zps00cdc2e0.jpg Emma Roberts in Palo Alto

Palo Alto is Gia Coppola's debut feature film that offers a raw insight into the lives of three privileged but ever-so-lost teenagers and their peers. The film threads together the stories of Teddy, a pensive artist caught up in the world of drugs fuelled by his unpredictable and reckless sidekick Fred, and April, a sensitive sixteen year old aware of her superficial surroundings' but unable to step away. For April, the alluring and older Mr. B seems to be the answer to escaping the monotony of the endless high school drama but soon transpires to be a dangerous endeavour. Stylistically the film is coherent, filled with soft focus shots that provide an insight into the genuine nature of its characters. The mood created from this is sombre, far from nostalgic and even close to distressing at times. It is not a nice film, but a brilliant one that confronts the complex choices that that age is ever so fraught with. The choices might not always be the right ones, but Coppola is very careful in ensuring that the audience realises that these choices purely stem from insecurity and a vulnerability that that age presents. Overall, it is a unique and real portrayal of teenage life in which Coppola firmly asserts her ground as a director on the rise.

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