starring Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning
written for the screen and directed by Sofia Coppola
by Walter Chaw Sofia Coppola tells Romanticist versions of one transitional moment in her life. She turns it in her hand to see where the light catches it. Her films are examinations of the liminal field between girlhood and womanhood, littered with casualties and trenches, the one left behind and the other ahead, maybe eternally out of reach. Her moment is immortalized one way in father Francis Ford Coppola's decision to cast her as the main love interest in The Godfather Part III, a late replacement for Winona Ryder. Sofia's failure, and her father's betrayal of her by failing to protect her from it, is traumatic, though perhaps not much more than any adolescence--just public, cast into the collective, as it were, for the wolves to worry. It is one of a select company of misfires that is almost universally known. Sofia immortalizes the devastation of her experience in movies that speak, lyrically, to the tragedy of coming-of-age for a young woman. Hers is as coherent and important a body of work as any contemporary filmmaker's, made more so, perhaps, by her status as the only woman director in the United States permitted to explore an elliptical, unpopular theme across several projects.