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September 16, 2013

Somewhere (2010)
Director: Sofia Coppola
Actors: Stephen Dorff, Elle Fanning, Chris Pontius

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Synopsis: Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff) is a louche, but successful, Hollywood actor, lounging around in the Chateau Marmont hotel in LA, recuperating from a minor injury. His ex-wife suffers an unspecified breakdown, leaving Johnny in custody of their 11-year-old daughter Clio (Elle Fanning).

Review: Admittedly this is very much a Sofia Coppola work in minor key, riffing on her already highly familiar signature of style (diegesis as time, observation and the senses, rather than dramaturgy) and subject matter (cocooned, disaffected malcontents). That said, it’s a nice enough portrayal of its cosseted Hollywood milieu, and certainly wards against any initial worry that Coppola may be too in thrall to a lifestyle that perhaps outside of her own frame of reference isn’t that sympathetic.

It’s a clever, tonal impression of this not-so-young Hollywood playboy (well essayed by Stephen Dorff) who is numbed by his drinking, partying, womanising and jetsetting, and who – just maybe through the gentle inspiration of his precocious daughter (but even then Coppola leaves the story purposely ambiguous) – finds the will to assume more responsibility in his life. (September 2013)

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