Thursday, 3 February 2011


Sofia Coppola has attempted to repeat the formula she used, with some success, for what was probable her best film to date. Lost in Translation (2003) stared Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson and involving two people of vastly differing ages in a plutonic relationship but in the case of Somewhere (2010) it’s not an aging actor and a young college-graduate it’s a young actor and his estranged 11 year-old daughter.

Father and Daughter.
A famous actor Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff) recuperates in the Chateau Marmont Hotel (the actual hotel that Billy Wilder lived in for a period of his life!) from a minor injury following a drunken fall. He spends his lonely existence being “entertained” by an assortment of blond pole dancers, including the actual Shannon Twins from the Playboy Mansion in LA, whose lack of eroticism sends our bored star to sleep. He’s also receiving anonymous hate texts from an unknown individual! After Marco’s ex-wife suffers an emotional breakdown his 11 year-old daughter Cleo (Elle Fanning) comes to stay and there forced to spend time together including a trip to an awards ceremony in Milan. Johnny gradually accepts the difficult task of being a parent which in turn relieves his loneliness and brings some well needed responsibility to his life.

Does Ms Coppola’s fourth film present us with an insight of her upbringing, drawing on her own experiences from being the daughter of a very famous and celebrated film director, not quite Bill Douglas? As film critic Philip French pointed out it’s rather a predictable story but its strength and enjoyment are in the on screen relationship between Dorff and the wonderful Elle Fanning. Written and directed by Coppola and shot on location in Los Angles

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