Three sentence movie reviews: Palo Alto

 In All (-ish), Three Sentence Movie Reviews

I liked this movie, both for Jack Kilmer’s performance* and for the gauzy way the story unfolds. Based on a series of stories written by James Franco, the movie is unflinching in depicting everyday rape culture, and I wonder how much Gia Coppola’s direction has to do with this.**  It’s one of those movies where I think maybe the kids of Palo Alto need a little less free time, a little less money, and perhaps something to believe in; yet also, I was mesmerized by the film itself.

Cost: free from library
Where watched: at home

*”Who is that?” I wondered aloud during his first scene.  His performance wasn’t showy, but he had full command of the screen.  It made sense when I figured out he was the son of Val Kilmer and Joanne Whalley.  This was his first role.

**DVD extras provide an interview with James Franco, where he discusses how strongly he felt that Gia Coppla should direct this movie, even going so far as to take a role in a film, simply to obtain the rest of the funding necessary to film.  He’s also creepy good as the soccer coach.

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  • Sara K.

    Oh how this feels NFS. I can just tell from your comments. Nice to see a woman director.

    And WOWZERS! Nice work getting the blog caught up to NOW!!! I can only comment on 11 posts this morning…but I let myself preview a few from my reader.

  • Jan

    Oh gosh, this post reminded me of how beautiful and charming Val Kilmer was back in the day. I see his son has good hair game like him. I recently watched a whole series (Eyewitness) without realizing that one of the show’s leads is Bill Paxton’s son. Once I read it, I could totally see it.

    Is the soccer coach a creep? Maybe James Franco is good at playing a creep because he IS a creep.

    • stenaros

      I’ve gotten to the point where I think that all men in Hollywood are creeps. It saves me from being disappointed when I find out they are. I did have a small smidgen of hope that he wasn’t, but those hopes have been dashed. On the one hand, he fought hard so a woman could direct his film. On the other hand, he may have abused his power in his acting school. Sadly, the scale tips stronger in one direction than the other.

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