The conventional wisdom on Francis Ford Coppola is that he ceased to be relevant or vital after Apocalypse Now, and that for the rest of his career he’s been making half-realized art-films and impersonal mainstream movies. I would dispute that. Some of Coppola’s most heartfelt and entertaining movies were made in the 1980s, including Peggy Sue Got Married, Tucker; The Man And His Dream, and The Outsiders, Coppola’s adaptation of S.E. Hinton’s beloved young adult novel about a gang of lower-class teens who form a makeshift family in 1960s Tulsa. Though Coppola and screenwriter Kathleen Rowell deliver a teen-friendly movie that was faithful to the book—featuring a cast of young stars-to-be, including Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Tom Cruise, and Diane Lane—The Outsiders aims for an ambitious mix of social realism and 1960s technicolor dreaminess, akin to the movie version of West Side Story. The combination isn't always seamless, but there’s real artistry here, supporting a tried-and-true story of misunderstood teens, who fight and love and yearn. The Outsiders airs on SundanceTV at 8 p.m. Eastern.
September 11, 2014 newsreel