In a directing career spanning more than 20 years, Coppola has made a sort of specialty of loneliness, her disparate characters — from suicidal virgins and let-them-eat-cake queens to middle-aged movie stars adrift in Tokyo — all searching for some deeper connection. (Even the larcenous Los Angeles teens of 2013’s The Bling Ring might have traded their purloined Birkin bags for a little genuine parental attention; not).
There’s another man in her life more than happy to offer his opinions on all that: her father Felix ( Murray) a confirmed bachelor and bon vivant whose career as an international art dealer still seems to allow generous time for field trips and shenanigans. Marital intrigue is clearly catnip to Felix, even if commitment otherwise eludes him as a concept. So it doesn’t take long until he’s pulling up in his candy-apple Alfa Romeo with a caviar, ready to turn a night of spousal recon into a rolling cocktail party for two.
It’s long-awaited reunion of sorts too, and there are unmissable echoes in his performance of Lost in Translation, the 2003 drama whose delicate melancholy revealed a Murray most moviegoers had never seen: lonesome, vulnerable, tender at the root. His Felix is a breezier, more slippery character, but he susses out the layers; shades of mortality and regret pulling at the corners of that puckish, here’s-looking-at-you-kiddo grin.