Even if you don’t count the extended members of the family—your Spike Jonzes, your Patricia Arquettes—the Coppolas still have eight Oscars between them. For those keeping score, that’s one for Carmine, five for Francis, one for Sofia, and one for Nic. But who could put a number valuation to such a diverse and talented group of people? I’ll tell you who: I can.
Now, as long as you don’t remind me about Argo, I can appreciate the value of an Oscar. It’s the most legitimate award show we’ve got, and I like arguing with people about it every year as if it actually matters in some way. But when it comes to straight up ranking human beings, there’s a lot more to consider. You’ve got to take into account their style points, their originality points, their name-brand champagne-in-a-can points. It’s a whole thing. And regardless of whether Sofia wins anything for The Beguiled this March, just by virtue of making a Civil War period piece that also functions as a commentary on the 1970s, she’s moved up in this list.
Before we begin, though, some rules: I’m only considering living Coppolas—and specifically only living Coppolas who are full-fledged adults. Seems to be kinda in poor taste to sit here and debate the qualities of twelve-year-old Kal-El, and I’m not gonna pretend to have read enough of August Coppola’s romance novels to include him anyway. Beyond that, it’s worth pointing out that this list only includes blood-member Coppolas, as well. (Apologies to those clicking in for a measured opinion on Thomas Mars.) That is, of course, except for Eleanor Coppola, who I included ’cause she rules and has been married to Francis for like fifty fucking years.
If you’ve got a problem with any of this, feel free to sound off in the non-existent comments section on the site.
11) The Rooney dude
“Blueside” is a dope song, but put on a whole Rooney album and it’s hard not to feel like you’re in that club when Marissa catches Luke cheating.
10) Marc “The Cope” Coppola
Says something when you’re the one in the family to make off with the nickname “The Cope.” Says even more when your DJ name used to be “Dr. Metal.”
9) Gia Coppola
Willing to accept the fact that she may very well end up being peak Coppola once she hits her stride. But, just for reference, when Francis was her age—thirty—he had just written Patton, OK?
8) Christopher Coppola
He and his cat Otto were on an episode of Cats 101 once (riding a motorcycle together), and that’s honestly worth a lot in my book.
7) Talia Shire
Responsible for the greatest “vaffanculo you” in film history. Also, that Carlo Rizzi: What an asshole, right?
6) Eleanor Coppola
Directed her first feature narrative at the age of eighty—and made it a semi-autobiographical film starring Diane Lane no less!! Mad respect.
5) Roman Coppola
Pissed off just about everyone who saw A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, which is a vintage Coppola move.
4) Jason Schwartzman
Amazing that, due to his tour-de-force performance as Ringo in Dewey Cox, no one even remembers that he’s been in five Wes Anderson movies.
3) Sofia Coppola
Fucking nailed that part as the baby in The Godfather.
2) Francis Ford Coppola
Gets points for making The Conversation and Jack, but loses points for insisting on saying, “I’m the paterfamilias” everywhere he goes.
1) Nicolas Cage
Two quotes stand out from Actually Great Actor Nicolas Cage: “My motto had always been: maximum violence immediately” and “I’ll show you acting,” the latter of which being something he told his Uncle Francis at the age of fifteen. Eat it, Uncle Francis. Cage showed you. FL