starring Bill Murray, Rashida Jones, Marlon Wayans
written and directed by Sofia Coppola
by Walter Chaw Of all the people making them, Sofia Coppola makes Sofia Coppola movies better than anyone else. Her body of work is remarkable for its consistency--such as that of a Japanese master like Ozu or Mizoguchi, frankly. So the chief complaint of nepotism levied against her strikes me as something of a mixed blessing. I don't know that many creators have ever had the cachet to make exactly the films they want to make. Every single time. And the ones I can think of for which this is also true, it either wasn't always true, hasn't resulted in the level of visibility that Coppola's films earn, or tend to be the province of men exclusively. I wonder about the resentment of some critics towards Coppola for somehow not being representative enough, as though any one artist can or should be expected to check every box. Best, often, not to try. I think of another woman and filmmaker with a similar amount of creative single-mindedness, Claire Denis, scoffing in an interview with Jonathan Romney of THE GUARDIAN when asked about the Hollywood #MeToo movement: "That's a discussion that's only being had in rich countries. The world is not just the United States and Europe. It's a debate of spoiled children. I couldn't care less about the Weinstein affair." Where Denis is indicated mostly by how little she cares what you think, Coppola is branded as a figure mortally wounded by her time in the public view. That vulnerability, real or only perceived, inextricably infuses every frame of her movies with just a little extra trembling pathos.