The Top Directors Working Today: Sofia Coppola

The Virgin Suicides
Lost in Translation
Marie Antoinette

Loved and despised in equal measure, her films infuriate and bore her harshest critics for being Too Precious. That’s exactly why her fans are rabidly drawn to her work. I always go in expecting to hate her projects and come out surprised by how much I liked them. Still, there’s room to grow and become more agreeable without sacrificing the lush and dreamy tone of her work.

There's something about Sofia that makes her and her films hard to fully endorse. She's made as many films as Darren Aronofsky. I didn't care for Pi, and The Fountain felt compromised. (Requiem is in my Top 5 for the Decade.) I only liked the 2nd half of Virgin Suicides, but really liked the tone she set for Lost In Translation and Marie Antoinette. Yet I fully embrace Aronofsky while I never have much confidence in Sofia's abilities, and I wouldn't be surprised if she made something as monumentally bad as Boxing Helena.

According to the poll on

22% think that with only 3 features, she's already proven her Greatness.
36% think she definitely has potential for Greatness
14% think she's Good, but don't see her doing anything Great.
17% can take or leave her films.
11% are annoyed by her filmmaking.

She has made two of my all-time favorites and a big sloppy (yet colorful) mess. Not sure if this actually equals greatness, but I think its more than potential.

I am always struck by how emotionally I connect to her work - her skill at evoking a mood through images (especially lighting) and music draws me to whatever she does. My opinion may change over the coming yrs but for now, she is one of my favorite directors working if for no other reason than her works tends to haunt me - it stays with me for days after viewing it...
-St. Martin The Bald


I think Sofia Coppola has more than enough potential to be one of the greatest directors ever.
-The Void99

I think she clearly has the potential for greatness but I worry about her work being so vapid and self-reflexive (and/or self-congratulatory) that it is meaningless.

I agree that there's definitely an autobiographical approach to the story (the anachronistic soundtrack reinforces that idea). Unlike you though, I like that. I wish all directors were self-reflexive/self-congratulatory.
Ok, not all of them
-El Duderino

Lost in Translation is a fave of mine. Just because of that film I'll always look forward to her next project. Strangely enough, she's not really a favorite of mine.


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