"Somewhere" to nowhere



Somewhere (R) ★★

With Somewhere, Director Sofia Coppola goes back to the winning formula that made Lost In Translation such a triumph for her. The silent angst in this film is almost palpable as Steven Dorff's Johnny, a big Hollywood actor, wanders around the halls of well known celebrity hotel Chateau Marmont. Johnny's daughter is abandoned by her mother for an undetermined period of time, which means he has to take care of her until she leaves for camp in a few weeks. The daughter is played by Elle Fanning, in a way only the Fanning family can play a role; mature and totally realistic. I wasn't completely won over by the film's sombre, almost uneventful mood. There are stretches where not much happens, even though Coppola does it on purpose for her audience to get to know her main character a little better. Coppola wants us to look inside the tortured, loner soul of Johnny and see a man that has all the money in the world but is as lonely and messed up as anybody around him. The women Johnny gets in the film are plentiful but it's not like he has to work hard to get them, they jump at him at almost every second and he can't help but go for these beauties.

Although the film is an examination of a -somewhat- interesting man, it can at times feel empty and completely devoid of inspiration- which is a real shame considering the talent involved here and the potential for a solid movie. This is not a solid movie, it is instead an interesting one. Interesting because of the kind of unpredictability Coppola lays upon us from first frame to last, even though I wouldn't say it is satisfying, especially given the way the film ends in an almost hysterically ambiguous yet all too self important way, did you get that? Dorff does the best he can with his character and delivers a performance that does resonate with the audience and Coppola's use of color, lighting and cinematography definitely shows her talent but at the end of the day Somewhere is middle tier Coppola and falls into the lost and rapidly contagious trap of being as empty and lost as its main protagonist. It made me wonder why its Johnny was so depressed to begin with, celebrity angst is something I don't think many of us could identify with.
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