Keeping Up with the Coppolas: The Bay Area's Royal Family

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The Baldwins. The Sheens. The Olsens. All are showbiz family empires. But none can quite compare to the sheer number of talented members of The Family Coppola. Bigger than an empire, they make up a constellation of individuals united by blood, stardom, and canned wine.

To keep you, and myself organized, here is a family tree I drew up:


Now that you have the lineage down pat, let's mix things up a bit. Who knew Jason Schwartzman was part of this clan? Kind of rando if you ask me. He definitely got the looks side of the family. Not to say Sofia is a dog, because she's not (she's actually the queen of my heart, film-wise only), but Jason and his wide eyes are what must have captivated Mr. Wes Anderson way back in 1998, which led to his screen debut as the precociously charming and annoying Max Fischer in Rushmore. Years later, he started banging on the drums for Phantom Planet and recorded half of Guest, including single "California" that still rings in all our ears. His current-ish solo project is called Coconut Records. The following is the song "West Coast," which might get you a little blurry-eyed if you're from the East Coast. And it was also featured in Cloverfield, so there's that.

While we're on the random kick, let's just get Nick Cage out of the way because frankly, I'm not super into talking about him. After Leaving Las Vegas, I lost interest and I'm pretty sure I was only into that movie because of Elizabeth Shue anyways (one half of a brother/sister dream team). He's got a weird reputation or maybe it's just me who thinks that. While researching The Cage, I came upon the lost but not forgotten viral video of him "Losing His S**t," and let me tell you, it's pretty entertaining. I watched it twice.
Photo: Tumblr

Phew. Glad that's over and to tell you the truth, it wasn't all that bad. Let's talk Sofia's older bros for a second. Although he's been involved in moviemaking for decades, Roman's truly been popping up all over the scene -- especially the Wes Anderson scene -- over the past five or so years. He's more of a backstage kind of dude, difficult to recognize his face but easy to recognize his name as producer of two of Sofia's films and co-writer of two of Anderson's. The photo above is of Gian-Carlo as a youngster, the oldest of Francis Ford's children. Sadly, Gian-Carlo was killed at the age of 22 in a speedboating incident. Like many who came before him, the potential was huge. Little "Gio" is the third piece of the talented trifecta whose train stopped way too soon.


On a brighter note, we still have Sofia. Oh, Sofia! Her new flick The Bling Ring gets its San Francisco debut this Friday. She's come a long way since her days of being awkward in the ever-forgettable The Godfather Part III. This recent Buzzfeed article is both critical of Coppola's work as well as somewhat admiring of it, listing 32 ways to make a Sofia Coppola movie. She has developed a movie style all her own, influenced by the likes of her father, Antonioni, Godard, Truffaut, and Wong Kar-wai. Using bright lights and big sounds, the tone of a Sofia Coppola movie is similar to leaving someone you love behind in a city that was once your home. Let's watch Sofia win her Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. There's Coppolas all over this clip!

Finally, the Big Kahuna himself, Francis Ford. You've seen his wine at Safeway on the second to top shelf. You've seen his daughter's wine cans in the hands of sorority girls. You've been rejected from his literary magazine, Zoetrope: All-Story (water under the bridge!). You've seen all his films, his kid's films, and probably soon, his kid's kid's films. But one of his most crowning achievements in my eyes is his purchase and refurbishing of the North Beach classic known as The Sentinel Building. The building itself is a wonder, a real beauty. The teal facade fits in perfectly with San Francisco pastels while the sharp angles immediately evoke the Flatiron Building in New York City. A true treasure and great addition to the already impressive lineup of San Francisco architecture.

Well, there you have it. Arguably the most famous and talented family in the movie making/wine business: The Coppolas. I look forward to the fourth generation of the family texting their way to the top. Sofia already has two children with her husband and Phoenix frontman, Thomas Mars, and their names are Romy Mars and Cosima Mars. If that isn't screaming Hollywood, I'm not sure what is.