Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

‘Coming of age’, teen drama, still the most talked about film of the year

Review Grade: 5/5 stars

In 2010, actor and writer James Franco, published a collection of short stories titled, “Palo Alto”. Named after his home town of Palo Alto, California, these collections of stories were about teenagers and their experiments, and their relationship with their families. Two years later, production commenced for a film adaption, directed by Gia Coppola.

Palo Alto” was released on May 9, and has since become a widely talked about film among teenagers and young adults.

The film was shown at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 24 and at The San Francisco International Film Festival on May 3.

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Film critics gave the film generally positive reviews, while Metacritic gave the film 69 out of 100 on their scale.

“A promising debut for director Gia Coppola, Palo Alto compensates for its drifting plot with solid performances and beautiful cinematography”, said review website Rotten Tomatoes.

James Franco stars as Mr. B, a teacher and soccer coach who is highly interested in a young girl named April, played by Emma Roberts.

The rest of the cast is phenomenal as Coppola handpicked each one herself.

Teddy, a teenage boy who is in love with April, is played by newcomer Jack Kilmer [who happens to be the son of Val Kilmer, who also stars in the film as April’s “stoned” stepfather].

Teddy’s bad boy, reckless best friend, Fred, is played by Nat Wolff [notable for playing himself in Nickelodeon’s “The Naked Brothers Band”].

Both Wolff and the young Kilmer are stars in the making, as they gave a phenomenal performance portraying the stereotypical teenage lifestyle of smoking cigarettes and weed, defacing library books, and chain sawing a tree off.

Roberts and Franco’s performance was equally great, as the chemistry between their characters showcased the “teacher-student relationship” that is built up from the beginning of the film, to the end of the film.

The soundtrack featured in the film was quite impressive as many artists such as Mac Demarco, Blood Orange, Coconut Records, and Wolff with his brother Alex were featured.

Palo Alto” is a classic modern tale of the current “hipster” teenage lifestyle among the current generation. Tears will be shed, sex will be encountered, and drugs will be a must.

Watch “Palo Alto” on Google Play for $3.99 or purchase the film on DVD via Amazon for $12.99.

Movie trailer via YouTube.

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