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Coppola’s latest is like Succession crossed with Batman Forever and a lava lamp : Megalopolis

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Published Time: 16.05.2024 - 22:40:17 Modified Time: 16.05.2024 - 22:40:17

Aubrey Plaza is fantastic in this full-body sensory bath movie which follows a struggle for power among the elites of New Rome It took Francis Ford Coppola 40 years to make Megalopolis, and while stumbling out of its first screening at Cannes yesterday I felt like it might take me a further 40 to work out what it is

Aubrey Plaza is fantastic in this full-body sensory bath movie which follows a struggle for power among the elites of New Rome


It took Francis Ford Coppola 40 years to make Megalopolis, and while stumbling out of its first screening at Cannes yesterday I felt like it might take me a further 40 to work out what it is.

During the film’s lengthy gestation, as the now-85-year-old Coppola scraped together the $120m budget from the profits of his vineyards, Megalopolis reportedly shape-shifted a number of times. And the final result does feel like something that has been stretched, wrung and kneaded to a degree where straightening the thing back out again would be impossible, and also largely beside the point.

There’s a lot of story in it – it follows a muddled struggle for power among the elites of New Rome, a parallel version of modern-day New York City – but while a plot summary would be a novella, it also wouldn’t explain much. Like Coppola’s 1982 neon-drenched musical One From The Heart – the previous film of his that Megalopolis most closely resembles, if it resembles anything at all – this is a full-body sensory bath movie, and what it means is indivisible from what it feels like to watch it. Something clearer? OK, try this: imagine Succession crossed with Batman Forever crossed with a lava lamp.

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