On September 12, Eleanor Coppola watched the premiere of her first feature film at the Toronto International Film Festival. This week, Sony Pictures Classics announced that it bought the rights to the film, Paris Can Wait, Variety reports. Selling a first feature film — starring Alec Baldwin and Diane Lane — is exciting for anybody. But Eleanor Coppola is not anyone: She's an 80-year-old woman who's spent her life supporting the filmmaker dreams of everybody else in her Hollywood-centric family — including Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather) and daughter Sofia Coppola (The Bling Ring, Lost In Translation).
Although Coppola has directed several documentaries — including the revered Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, about the making of her husband's movie Apocalypse Now! — Paris Can Wait is a creation all her own. After decades playing the role of wife and mother, Coppola decided to write and direct the semi-autobiographical movie, loosely based on a life-changing trip she took to France. "I'm this housewife who suddenly decided she's going to write a film and actually direct it," Coppola told The Hollywood Reporter of her debut narrative feature. "I grew up in the '40s and '50s, and a woman's role was to support her husband and make a nice home for him," she continued. "I was frustrated that I didn't have much time to pursue my interests."
Coppola wants young women today to remember how lucky many of us are to be able to pursue the careers and lives we desire. "My daughter and her generation, and generations after that, they take for granted that they're going to do whatever is their calling," she explained to THR. "There's not going to be a question of their role or if they have to give it up because they're a wife and a mother." And she's right. Today, the question isn't "if" for most women when it comes to having a family and a career. But with issues like a lack of paid maternity leave, the wage gap, and the cost of child care, we're definitely still figuring out the "how."