The Life and Times of Writer/Director Sofia Coppola

Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation, Inside Monkey Zetterland, The Virgin Suicides, The Godfather III, Somewhere, Marie Antoinette, The Bling Ring,

The Life and Times of Writer/Director Sofia Coppola

Sofia Coppola who lives in Paris, France is an American. She was born in New York City, New York and attended the California Institute of Arts, Mills College. She is a film director, producer, screenwriter and actress. She has two children and her parents are Francis Ford Coppola, her father a veteran movie director, producer and screenwriter and Eleanor Coppola her mother. In 1999, she wrote and directed the movie The Virgin Suicides.

For her directional role in Lost in Translation, she received the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 2003 and presently is the third in line of women who have been nominated in the category of an Academy Award for Best Director. Sofia Coppola won the top award “Golden Lion” at the Venice Film Festival in 2010 for her role in the drama Somewhere; she is the only American actress and fourth American filmmaker who has won this award). Her personal life is unique.

Sofia Coppola was given birth to on May 14, 1971, and is 45 years. She happens to be an only daughter and the youngest child in the Coppola clan. According to her, she had spent a quite number of years in Tokyo, especially during her 20s when she and a friend owned a miniature clothing line together.

This according to her accorded them the opportunity to always travel to Tokyo a couple of times per year. In 1999, she married Spike Jonze who she had met in 1992 and divorced him in 2003 after an official statement that stated that the divorce was one reached with sadness. In 2006, she and her boyfriend had a child and subsequently got married again in 2011, she got married to Thomas Mars her boyfriend. She has two daughters, the eldest born on November 28, 2006, and the younger on May 2010.

Her career is unique, as she is believed to have started as an infant taking up background roles in at least seven of her dad’s movies. One of the early infant roles where she appeared is in the baptism scene bearing the name Michael Francis Rizzi in the movie called The Godfather. Subsequently, she has roles to play in The Godfather series, that is the first, second and third The Godfather movies. In The Godfather II, she played the role of a child who is believed to be an immigrant. In 1983, she acted in her father’s movie, The Outsiders alongside Matt Dillon, Tommy Howell, and Ralph Macchio.

In the same year, she featured in The Rumble Fish. In 1984, she also acted in her father’s movie The Cotton Club and did same in 1986 in a movie called Peggy Sue Got Married as the sister to Nancy Kelcher under the screen Kathleen Turners. In 1984, she acted her first movie titled Frankenweenie, which was not in a way connected to her father.  Just to prove her prowess, in 1989 a short film she co-wrote with her father titled Life Without Zoe was released. This was part of a three-way anthology New York Stories, which was directed by her father.

After all these roles played in several movies, Sofia Coppola was chosen for a role due to the disengagement of one of the original casts of the series, Winona Ryder. She had to play the role of the daughter of Michael Corleone. On this particular role, the public criticized her ruthlessly for been stiff and false portrayal of the role. Critics argued that she brought no originality into the role, this led to her being selected as Worst Supporting Actress and Worst New Star at the Golden Raspberry Awards of 1990. Sofia Coppola retreated after this experience of backlash and criticism but featured in the movie Inside Monkey Zetterland an Independent film in 1992.

This led her to enroll in the California Institute of Arts for a program in fine arts. During this period, she focused on her photography, fashion design, experimenting with attires and at the same time contributing towards a film directed by her brother Roman. However, she began to write the screenplay of adaptation of Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides in 1993. This screenplay which happens to be elusive and memorable stirred the likes of Kathleen Turner, Kirsten Dunst and James Woods and at the end turned out to be a huge success. From several interviews she gave during the promotion of The Virgin Suicides, she is believed to have said that the level of criticism generated by her role in The Godfather III was not hurtful because she originally did not take acting as a career.

She is versatile in her career. In the 1990s’, she has appearances in various music videos like The Black Crowes by Sometimes Salvation, Sonic Youth’s by Mildred Pierce, Deeper and Deeper by Madonna, Elektrobank by The Chemical Brothers, and a video from Funky Squaredance titled Phoenix’s.

On filmmaking, her filmmaking career started as early as 1998 when she shot her first short film known as Lick the Star, which was played numerously on the Independent Film Channel. In 1999, she struck gold and made her debut role as a film director of the movie The Virgin Suicides, which received accolades when it premiered at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival in North America. In 2003, she had her second feature in the film Lost in Translation.

For this, she won the Academy Award and three Golden Globe Awards in 2003. In her interview on the 10th anniversary of Lost in Translation, she attributes the inspiration for the movie Lost in Translation as a reflection of her personal experience as she described the movie as her most personal movie because it envisages what she went through in her 20s. With this huge success and

With this huge success and being a third-generation Oscar winner, she was extended an invitation to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In 2006, her third film called Biopic Marie Antoinette debuted; this was an adapted biography of a British Historian called Antonia Fraser. In 2010, she produced her fourth film titled Somewhere, which was filmed at the prestigious Chateau Marmont as released.

She would not stop now, hence in 2013, she released another film The Bling Ring, a true life story centered on a group of teenagers from California who engaged in the burgling of homes owned by celebrities. Sofia Coppola began negotiations for to helm The Little Mermaid, adapted from a script written by Caroline Thompson. Unfortunately, she dropped out as a director in June 2015 because of creative differences.

She was versatile and so ventured into Television during the mid-1990s in a series called Hi Octane with her best friend Zoe Cassavetes on Comedy Central. This show never made it after four episodes. Her first commercial called Gossip Girl debuted in December 2008. She went further to launch various Christmas ads for Gap a clothing chain line in October 2014. She also ventured into modeling in the 1990s and would often feature in several girl-focused magazines such as Seventeen and YM.

Due to her love for fashion, she launched a fashion clothing line in Japan called Milk Fed with her friend Stephanie Hayman. She was selected as the face of House of Fragrance by Marc Jacobs a fashion designer. She would also do double duty as a photographer as well. Her photographs of Paris Hilton were published in an issue of Elle in July 2013. She once again ventured in opera and was announced as an opera director in May 2016 where she took up directory role for the production of an opera known as La Traviata.

She has won various awards over the span of her career. In 2003, she was nominated for three Academy Awards for the film Lost in Translation in the categories such as Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. She won the award for Best Original Screenplay but lost the others to Peter Jackson for The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.

She became the first American female to be nominated for Best Director and the third in the whole of the world after the likes of Jane Campion and Lina Wertmuller. Subsequently, her film Lost in Translation won two awards in the Golden Globes Award; they are the Best Motion Picture and Best Screenplay. She also won the Golden Lion award in September 2010 at the Venice International Festival. Sofia Coppola is the first America woman to have won this award.

Her family became the second third-generation Oscar winners for Best Original Screenplay as she, her father and grandfather have won this awards in the past. The family of Walter, John and Anjelica Houston was the first family to have achieved this feat.

She is currently the director of a yet to be released remake of The Beguiled, a 1971 film starring Clint Eastwood. This film features such amazing talents like Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Kirsten Dunst, and Elle Fanning and will be released in 2017. Check out the trailer below.


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