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The New Mexican's Weekly Magazine of Arts, Entertainment & Culture Thursday, July 24, 2014

Movie Reviews — California daze: "Palo Alto"

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Posted: Friday, May 30, 2014 5:00 am | Updated: 4:51 pm, Thu Jun 5, 2014.

Palo Alto, cynical teen drama, rated R,  Center for Contemporary Arts, 2 chiles

It seems ungenerous to give Palo Alto a harsh review. Written and directed by 27-year-old Gia Coppola (of the Hollywood Coppolas) and based on the short-story collection by James Franco (also of Hollywood), the movie is basically a creative-writing exercise turned film-school exercise, polished to a moody, glossy sheen. Franco, widely acknowledged as a great actor, is not a great writer. Despite his many graduate degrees, he is, at best, a promising student writer, and Palo Alto could easily have taken place in any town, anywhere. Though Coppola, in her debut feature, does a few things well, the movie just isn’t all that good. And there is so much at which to pick.

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