After Woody Allen and DP Gordon Willis conquered the visual poetry of New York City, you’d think we’ve seen it all when it comes to romanticizing the Northeast city’s edifices and its baroqueness.
Then Sofia Coppola showed up with her The Beguiled cinematographer Philippe Le Sourd. As shadowy, glossy black and white as Allen and Willis’ NYC is in Manhattan, Coppola and Le Sourd revitalizes the colors of the Big Apple, putting a vibrant sheen of blues, greens, greys, black and browns that just ups the emotion and warmth in AppleTV+/A24’s On the Rocks.
There’s also a touch of homage to Federico Fellini in the Roma and La Dolce Vita sense of the word. The feature reps the Oscar-winning Coppola’s reteam with her Lost in Translation thespian Bill Murray who plays an aged playboy father who reconnects with his daughter, played by Rashida Jones; the two reconnecting at a time when the latter’s husband may be cheating on her. Le Sourd received an Oscar nomination for his DP work on 2013’s The Grandmaster from Wong Kar-Wai, and his lens are alive and on fire again here in On the Rocks.
To date On the Rocks has notched a Golden Globe nom for Murray in the supporting actor category and two Critics Choice noms for Murray as supporting actor and Best Comedy. I’ve heard that viewership during the first weekend of On the Rocks was the best ever for Coppola, exceeding the opening weekend admissions of any movie in her cinematic canon; 2006’s Marie Antoinette being the biggest at $5.4M over 3 days ($61M global).
Here’s our conversation with Coppola and Le Sourd: