James Franco takes a lot of heat for a career that's admittedly been very sporadic in terms of quality. But because of that, I find him very fascinating. Though his performance (?) as host (?) of the Oscars is not on my list of highlights, he's the type of actor who seems to be always up for a challenge-whether it pays off or not. He's proven that he's the "I'll try anything once" guy, which turns off others but makes him that more interesting to me.
So the fact that the Oscar nominee (127 Hours) has written a collection of short stories comes as no surprise to me. The series, which chronicles the tumultuous lives of a group of high school students, has been adapted into a film directed Gia Coppola (Sofia's niece and Francis Ford's granddaughter) titled PALO ALTO (in select theaters May 9th). Franco has a role in the film, alongside a cast that includes Emma Roberts, Val Kilmer and Chris Messina. But all eyes will be on Coppola as she tries to make her own mark alongside her famous family (which also includes cousin Nicolas Cage).
New York, NY – February 3, 2014 – Tribeca Film announced today that Palo Alto, the acclaimed debut feature from writer/director Gia Coppola will open exclusively in theaters on Friday, May 9th in New York and Los Angeles. A national release will follow. Palo Alto screened last year in the Venice, Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals. The film is a James Franco and Rabbit Bandini Productions presentation, produced by Sebastian Pardo, Adriana Rotaru, Miles Levy, and Vince Jolivette. It is based on several linked stories in James Franco's book of the same name, chronicling the complicated ties and heightened emotions among a group of high school students. It stars James Franco, Emma Roberts, Jack Kilmer, Nat Wolff, Zoe Levin, Chris Messina, and Val Kilmer. The film features music from Devonté Hynes of the band Blood Orange and Robert Coppola Schwartzman.
Shy, sensitive April (Emma Roberts) is the class virgin —a popular soccer player and frequent babysitter for her single-dad coach, Mr. B. (James Franco). Teddy (Jack Kilmer) is an introspective artist whose best friend and sidekick Fred (Nat Wolff) is an unpredictable live wire with few filters or boundaries. While April negotiates a dangerous affair with Mr. B., and Teddy performs community service for a DUI — secretly carrying a torch for April, who may or may not share his affection — Fred seduces Emily (Zoe Levin), a promiscuous loner who seeks validation through sexual encounters. One high school party bleeds into another as April and Teddy finally acknowledge their mutual affection, and Fred's escalating recklessness spirals into chaos.
There seems to be a new coming of age film popping up every week, so if that's your genre (or if you're a Franco fan like me) you can go ahead and add this one to your must-watch list. Or if you want to see Roberts do this: