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Venice Review: Gia Coppola’s Mainstream Unsettles in All the Wrong Ways

Venice Review: Gia Coppola’s Mainstream Unsettles in All the Wrong Ways

Six years after the release of her debut Palo Alto, Gia Coppola returns with Mainstream, a media satire set in sunny Los Angeles about a couple of disaffected young people who decide to make it big on YouTube by creating viral content. It’s a logline with promise, but the execution leaves a great deal to be desired. Palo Alto was a stylish introduction for the director back in 2014; perhaps a touch dramatically stilted but there was enough cool in all those neon lights, humid Californian nights, and woozy synths to suggest the arrival of a new voice.

The years, however, have not been so kind to it. The story followed a group of affluent teens, most notably a precocious young woman (Emma Roberts) who has an affair with her soccer coach (James Franco), for whom she babysits. Franco wrote the short stories from which it was based but in

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