The Coppola family is a sight to behold. Francis Ford Coppola, Sofia Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, Roman Coppola, being on the in with Wes Anderson, Robert Yeoman and Spike Jonze. They're practically built to be name-dropped. That's why Roman Coppola's writer+director debut disappoints me. I've come to expect great things from this family, and in this case, all I received was a good thing.
Jeremy Davies is great in this. He's the lead, so, I'm glad he's great. Jason Schwartzman is great in this. He's one of my favorite actors, so, I'm glad he's great. The supporting cast leaves a bit to be desired. So does the writing. I excuse this film for it's lows because of how much faith I have in the Coppolas as a whole, and because it is little Roman's first official film. He knows how to make a film, but not a completely interesting one. It's high moments are very high, and it remains engaging throughout, and never drops it's stylishness. But it has two downfalls.
Downfall One: Dragonfly. Davies is a film editor, then director, for a film called Dragonfly. Davies' life is mixed with deliberately campy 60s sci-fi clips from Dragonfly. These clips are supposed to show how flawed the film is, and introduce the audience to the alluring actress portraying Dragonfly. That's a bad thing. It spends far too long on seductive shots of Dragonfly, and not enough time on her personality. It shows how to create a bad film, instead of focusing on the story of CQ, what could have been a great film.
Downfall Two: The writing, at times. Enough times to call it a downfall. Characters say exactly what the audience should pick up from less blatant statements about their thoughts and feelings. Roman co-wrote The Darjeeling Limited, and that avoids this problem entirely. Maybe he needs co-writers, or was a little lazy on this one.
That poster is awesome.
CQ definitely gets things right. The acting is swell, the story is interesting, and Yeoman shoots everything great. Robert Yeoman is my favorite cinematographer, maybe. He works with Wes Anderson always, and lots of other great directors. And there's a reason. He's great. They deserve him. But CQ, well, it could have been as great as Yeoman is.
Suddenly I've lost my footing. I summed things up. I need rest. Bye.
- Eric T. Voigt, Welcomes Daniel Unser