Palo Alto (2014) [5/5]

Palo Alto weaves together three stories of teenage lust, boredom, and self-destruction: shy, sensitive April (Emma Roberts), torn between an illicit flirtation with her soccer coach (James Franco) and an unrequited crush on sweet stoner Teddy (Jack Kilmer); Emily (Zoe Levin), who offers sexual favors to any boy to cross her path; and the increasingly dangerous exploits of Teddy and his best friend Fred (Nat Wolff), whose behavior may or may not be sociopathic.

Alright, so I watched this film twice over the past twenty four hours. WOW. Wow...wow. Okay, so I know that this film has gotten some bad reviews, but you honestly just have to trust me here: Gia Coppola knows what she's doing. I swear it's true. You may not have lived this film, but I lived this film. The way they talk, the way they act, the way they are...it's real. It's real life. I'm twenty-two years old. These characters are probably supposed to be sixteen or seventeen or eighteen and I can remember it. I can remember it so vividly...the girl, the asshole, everyone.

This movie touched me deeply, like few other films from 201 have. It struck a chord that Sofia or Francis Ford haven't ever touched or seen the likes of, and I mean that; I'm not just saying that. A truly honest film... a hauntingly realistic portrayal of suburban high school culture. Something that I will never forget.

-Eli Hayes