It’s been a long road back to the director’s chair for Eleanor Coppola. Over 25 years to be exact. Her last film was the engrossing, Emmy-winning documentary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse (1991) and she shared director’s credit on that film with Fax Bahr and George Hickenlooper. Paris Can Wait marks not only Coppola’s first solo effort as director, but also her first go at a narrative feature. At 80 years of age, that also makes her the oldest American filmmaker to make a debut feature … which is impressive to say the least.
The film stars Diane Lane as Anne, the long neglected wife of a perpetually distracted producer (Alec Baldwin). Unhappy with her life and uncertain of her future, Anne is consumed by the feeling that she’s drifting through a life not her own. But fate intervenes and Anne soon finds herself on a road trip with her husband’s charming business partner (Arnaud Viard). Their quick trip from Cannes to Paris becomes a two-day jaunt full of stunning scenery, opulent meals, a few hearty laughs and maybe a renewed love of life.
Sounds breezy, right? Judging from the trailer it will be. Five-time Emmy-winning Composer Laura Karpman (Underground, TVs Carrie) is largely to thank for that. The 22 songs Karpman contributes to Paris Can Wait fuse jazzy, lounge inspired music with ‘60s flavored French pop and a dash of modern ambient composition to cast a timeless musical backdrop to Coppola’s story. One that explores the sensual intensity and casual whimsy inherent to French culture with equal ardor. Karpman builds an infectiously flirty energy out of that fusion. And the energy it creates should make Paris Can Wait as much a feast for the ears as it aims to be for the soul.
Paris Can Wait is now in limited release and should provide a welcome if slight detour from the bombast of blockbuster season. You won’t have to wait to hear Laura Karpman’s elegant and playful original score either. It’s now available on streaming platforms via the folks at Madison Gate Records. You can stream it in its entirety by pressing play below. And FYI – Karpman’s re-imaginings of French classics ‘Je te veux’ and ‘Que reste-t-il de nos amours’ featuring vocalist Ute Lemper are not to be missed. So what are you waiting for?