With Priscilla just a month or so from release, we list down some of the best movies from iconic director Sofia Coppola.
Sofia Coppola has made a name for herself as one of the most prolific directors of our time. Yes, it’s no mystery that her father, Francis Ford Coppola, is an icon himself, but Sofia Coppola has proven that her work stands on its own. So it’s hard to believe that she’s actually only directed, written, and produced less than ten feature-length films. Her upcoming 2023 film Priscilla, which revolves around the life of Priscilla Presley, will be her eighth film. In anticipation, we’ve listed down some of the movies from her filmography that you need to watch to really appreciate her filmmaking artistry.
From Priscilla to Lost in Translation, these are five Sofia Coppola movies you need to watch
The Virgin Suicides (1999)
Coppola’s first feature-length film was what would catapult her into a successful directorial career. Her father may be a great filmmaker in his own right, but Coppola, who was just starting out, wrote the screenplay and secured the rights to the novel the film was based on herself. The film premiered at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival and later received critical acclaim. The film is now considered a cult classic.
Lost in Translation (2003)
This film was just Coppola’s second feature-length film and yet it’s one of her most well-known. It also won her the Oscar for Original Screenplay and three Golden Globes. Coppola said that the film was inspired after she fell in love with the city of Tokyo and revolves around the need for connection. It’s the first time she and Bill Murray worked together, with Murray later becoming a frequent actor in her films. However, she described the process of hiring the iconic comedian as nerve-wracking since he only gave her his word when accepting the role but didn’t sign a contract (Murray has a reputation for being a recluse). Fellow director Wes Anderson assured her that Murray would show up if he wanted to do the film, and the rest was history.
Marie Antoinette (2006)
Perhaps one the most contentious of Coppola’s films, though Lost in Translation also had its share of controversy, Marie Antoinette premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was met with a mix of cheers and boos. One of the main criticisms of the highly stylised biopic of the eponymous French queen was that it wasn’t historically accurate. Coppola responded by saying, ”It is an interpretation documented, but carried by my desire for covering the subject differently.” Despite the criticism, it was nominated for the highly coveted Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
On the Rocks (2020)
This 2020 film would mark the third collaboration between Murray and Coppola and the first time one of her films was distributed by A24. The dramedy stars Murray and Rashida Jones as a father and daughter trying to prove whether the daughter’s husband was having an affair, ensuing in funny situations that also veer into heartwarming territory at times. The film is notably lighter than most of Coppola’s other films and continues her legacy of being a notable filmmaker with her own signature style of storytelling.
The latest movie from Sofia Coppola, Priscilla, revolves around the life of Priscilla Presley. Set to be released this November, Coppola likened Presley to Marie Antoinette, saying, “She was going through all the stages of young womanhood in such an amplified world.” The film stars Cailee Spaeny as Priscilla and Jacob Elordi as Elvis. But the most notable name out of all the people working on the film is Priscilla Presley herself who serves as executive producer.
Honourable mention (sort of): The Godfather Part III (1990)
Before she got into filmmaking, she was (in)famously cast in her father’s film, The Godfather Part III, playing the role of Michael Corelone’s (Al Pacino) daughter. Her performance was widely panned, though she said it didn’t affect her much as she didn’t really want an acting career. The story also goes that she was cast because every other actress fell through. If it wasn’t for The Godfather Part III solidifying her decision not to get into acting, who knows? We may not have the storied filmography of Sofia Coppola.