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The Boston Globe

Movies

movie review

‘Palo Alto’ knows its place

Good lord, not another Coppola.

The writer-director of “Palo Alto” is Gia Coppola, the 27-year-old granddaughter of Francis, niece of Sofia and Roman, and daughter of Gian-Carlo, who died in a boating accident in 1986. Clearly, something is in the vines up there at the Coppola Winery in Sonoma County, because this adaptation of James Franco’s short story collection of the same name — more about that in a bit — has a poetic eye and a bruised, sympathetic sensibility. They don’t fully cohere, and sometimes “Palo Alto” drifts as much as its characters do. But it’s a solid debut, and it gets to the heart of suburban adolescence in ways that slicker, more ostensibly mature movies don’t. That includes Aunt Sofia’s “The Bling Ring.”

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