Friday, February 26, 2016

Ranking the Oscar-Nominated Coppolas

Left to right: Nicolas Cage, Sofia Coppola, and Francis Ford Coppola 
With The Oscars only two days away, it feels like a good time to look back on the rich tapestry that is Oscar history. While many will be thankful to have one Oscar win, there seems to be a new set of standards if your last name is Coppola. Along with spouses such as David Shire, Spike Jonze, and Patricia Arquette winning awards, the direct family seems to have a certain precedent for winning big ever since Francis Ford Coppola hit the scene with his screenplay win for Patton. While to rank every person related to the Coppolas would be an exhaustive mess, the following is an attempt to rank the direct family, of whom continues to churn out worthwhile talent (looking forward to Gia Coppola's inevitable nomination). While there's no bad family member, it will definitely look pretty bad if one of them doesn't have an Oscar come Thanksgiving.

*NOTE: Oscar Nominations tally includes Oscar wins, but not Honorary Oscars.

1. Francis Ford Coppola

Oscar Wins: 5
Oscar Nominations: 13
Honorary Oscars: 1

Without Francis Ford Coppola, it doesn't seem likely that this fascinating dynasty would be quite as prevalent as they are. Following Patton, Coppola spent much of the 70's solidifying his status as one of history's greatest directors while doing two The Godfather films, The Conversation, and Apocalypse Now. While his filmography since may not be quite as important, one can only hope to make cinema as immediate and exciting as that 70's run. Among other things, credit must be given to him for helping to launch many other careers with the help of h is American Zoetrope label. While it is true that he has a talented family that deserve more recognition nowadays, you can never be able to overlook the power of Francis Ford Coppola as an auteur of gripping and experimental cinema.

2. Sofia Coppola

Oscar Wins: 1
Oscar Nominations: 3

There's definitely a lot of big shoes to fill when your father is Francis Ford Coppola. However, Sofia Coppola has made a name for herself with her own brand of self-reflective cinema. While she hasn't had a hit as big as Lost in Translation, she still managed to capture the essence of loneliness while helping to make Bill Murray an Oscar nominated talent. Among her other credits include being the third woman ever nominated for Best Director. While she didn't win, she received a Best Original Screenplay win, thus putting her in the pantheon of Coppola greats. One can only hope that she keeps producing provocative and beautiful cinema for years to come while setting a new bar for what Coppola family members should strive for behind the camera.

3. Talia Shire

Oscar Nominations: 2

Along with being part of the first generation of Coppola actors, she has quite an impressive career in two of the most iconic 70's franchises. Along with appearing in The Godfather films, she is also well known for playing Adrian in the Rocky films. While Talia Shire's name may not immediately ring a bell as a descendant of the Coppola family tree (she is Francis Ford Coppola's sister), she definitely set a bar for what the family could do on screen, delivering captivating performances that were very compelling to watch. She may never have won an Oscar, but she has delivered two of the most iconic performances in cinematic history, which may be enough to cement her legacy.

4. Nicolas Cage

Oscar Wins: 1
Oscar Nominations: 2

He is what you'd call the wild card of the family. Early on, Nicolas Cage dropped the family name in order to pursue a legitimate acting career on talent alone. One could easily speculate whether Cage is one of the best actors in the family or one of the worst based on his consistently fluctuating content between prestige dramas and hacky b-movies. However, his two Oscar nominations are the only criteria for his ranking, so we'll choose to see him as a genius for this time being. Of course, it helps that his performances are very compelling looks at unhinged men (including a nomination for Adaptation., directed by Sofia Coppola's former husband Spike Jonze) and features some of the most sympathetic and assured acting that he has ever given. Even if he doesn't have the best career decisions, he at least has the most compelling acting method choices when he does his roles right.

5. Carmine Coppola

Oscar Wins: 1
Oscar Nominations: 2

Carmine Coppola was Francis Ford Coppola's father, and also served as composer for a lot of his films, specifically in The Godfather trilogy. While he was infamously snubbed for the original film, he won his Oscar for The Godfather Part II, and continued to build on the rich themes of the series. It is hard to picture these films working without those familiar chords banging along as the Corleones hold business meetings and speculate on their future. The only reason that he ranks so low is because despite his iconic music, the family that came later somehow got better with time. Even then, you can never underestimate the power of music, of which The Godfather would be totally different without.

6. Roman Coppola

Oscar Nominations: 1

It may seem like an insult to be the lowest rated Coppola family member on this list, but just know that his work in Moonrise Kingdom definitely is worth checking out. Alongside co-writer Wes Anderson, he created a vision of what young love looks like via a campground facility with an all-star cast letting loose and having fun. Even if this film was overlooked by Anderson's next entry, The Grand Budapest Hotel, there's a certain sense of clarity to the writing that makes it stand out as one of Anderson's best. While he may be the lesser of Francis Ford Coppla's children, it isn't from lack of trying. If anything, his choice to work on independent comedies is a rather admirable career decision.

No comments:

Post a Comment