Production company A24 is a breath of fresh air

Three characters, two numbers, one letter and named after an Italian highway, A24 is the driving force behind some of the most groundbreaking, unique and aesthetically-pleasing movies and shows to come out in the past decade. Does “Lady Bird ring a bell? How about “Moonlight”? “Euphoria”? In an industry full of reboots, sequels and franchises, A24 is providing a breath of fresh air with their innovation and passion. 

“On the Rocks,” written and directed by Sofia Coppola, is A24’s latest film. It’s a patient and vulnerable exploration of relationships, and, in typical A24 fashion, takes a fresh approach to what perhaps could have been a very typical and predictable story about a woman being cheated on by her husband. While the film follows Laura, a young mother worrying that her husband is cheating on her, it is actually the father-daughter relationship that takes center stage.

During the quiet and vulnerable moments between Laura and her father, we experience an unspoken clash between them regarding her father’s infidelity. Through these moments, the film raises questions about what marriage means in our modern age, highlighting the impact gender can have on our outlook toward marriage, as well as how marriage and monogamy impact our conceptions of ourselves. Yet, the film might not have even been on my radar, save for one factor: the small A24 logo on the bottom right corner of the movie poster. 

A24 sets itself apart due to how niche and individualistic their films are, which is directly rooted in the company’s dedication to finding storytellers that are driven by personal passion. The company produces films across all types of genres, but the common thread is that their films feel like they were made because they had to be made, rather than just for profit, as is so often the case in the modern day film industry. 

A24’s films consistently break traditional Hollywood rules and ideals in favor of more “risky” ideas; rather than sticking with the status quo, A24 gives platforms to creators that are dedicated to sharing specific stories that only they can tell. Only Greta Gerwig could have written and directed her film “Lady Bird” in the same way that only Berry Jenkins could have written and directed his film “Moonlight.” A24 attracts an audience due to their honest and personal storytelling that allows viewers to connect to their films in an groundbreakingly intimate way. 

It is A24’s success beyond their films that is another aspect of what makes the company so groundbreaking. Through their niche yet deeply-touching films, they’ve managed to establish an audience that trusts that anything A24 is behind will be good. They’ve created a brand for themselves that causes people to think of A24 as its own type of movie genre. On top of this, A24 also thrives on social media, with people making things like TikToks and Spotify playlists centered around “A24 vibes.” This type of hype behind an indie-film distribution company is completely unprecedented. 

The first film to put A24 on the map was “Spring Breakers” in 2013, which was a huge success at the box-office. Over the following years, A24 went on to achieve success at the box office and at awards shows with films like “Ex Machina,” “Amy,” and “Room,” which all received academy awards. In recent years A24 has also found success with films like “The Lighthouse,Midsommar,” and “The Farewell.”

In 2016, A24 released “Moonlight,” which made headlines, broke records and was the first film with an all Black cast and director to win the Academy Award for best picture (the ceremony for which was a complete mess — anyone else remember the “La La Land” mix-up disaster?). “Moonlight” solidified A24’s place as a powerful production and distribution company. 

Lady Bird” in 2017 was another turning point for A24. It was a huge catalyst for growth, establishing much of A24’s dedicated fanbase. It also established A24’s general vibe — aesthetic coming of age films. “Lady Bird” was the first A24 movie that I ever watched, and its unique focus on something as niche and unique as the turbulence of mother-daughter relationships was something that I had never seen before and connected with very deeply.

On the Rocks is no different. Its unique outlook and emphasis on a father-daughter relationship was a story that only Sofia Coppola could tell, having lived through something similar herself. The combination of such a personal story and perfectly crafted cinematography represents everything that A24 stands for. A24’s dedication to passionate creators and compelling storytelling is the reason that their brand represents an exciting shift towards individuality in the world of film that I truly hope to see continue in their future.