Beautifully shot with a hazy California vibe and with a perfectly matched score by Blood Orange, Palo Alto is the distinctive debut of Gia Coppola. Rachel (Emma Roberts) is a teenage misanthrope who leads an ordinary life. Her parents are simultaneously distant and controlling, her friends are predictable and she’s mixed up in the life of Teddy (Jack Kilmer), who means well but keeps getting mixed up with the hell-bent Fred (Nat Wolff). While Teddy tries to straighten himself out, Rachel finds herself pulled toward her soccer coach Mr B (James Franco). There are parties, practices and burn outs as Rachel and Teddy stumble awkwardly through a directionless adolescence.
“Gia casts a woozy spell via an assured aesthetic which superbly highlights the dreams and hopes of each of the kids we meet” — Little White Lies