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Joanne Whalley
Gia Coppola's 'Palo Alto' conjures restless, unformed youth
Gia Coppola's 'Palo Alto' conjures restless, unformed youth

Written and directed by Gia Coppola, "Palo Alto" is adapted from a collection of short stories by James Franco and conjures a delicate, very specific sense of middle-class adolescence, the indeterminate, nascent feelings of the teenage years. Small moments can feel epic in scale, such as when a boy almost sending a girl a text message is an emotional turning point. Revolving around a small group of high school kids in a suburban anywhere, the film follows shy April (Emma Roberts), who falls into a secret affair with her soccer coach (Franco) as drifting Teddy (Jack Kilmer) pines for her from a distance. They bounce aimlessly through a string of uneventful days at school and...

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