REVIEW: Somewhere

20 06 2013

SomewhereI’m not a fan of Sofia Coppola’s films – including “Lost in Translation,” which plenty seem to admire without caring for the rest of her work.  I find them vapid, vacuous, insipid … I could go through the whole thesaurus, but I think you get the point by now.  Whether it’s modern Tokyo or 18th century Versailles, the worlds she chooses to portray are often skin-deep and superficial.

Yet in “Somewhere,” those things aren’t nearly as brutal.  Coppola points her camera at the world of fame and excess in the Hollywood celebrity culture, which is by nature skin-deep and superficial.  The film finds a better link for Coppola between story and style, making her particular touch a little more purposeful.

That doesn’t make the film any less vapid, vacuous, and insipid, however; it just feels a little less aimless.  Coppola is as self-indulgent as ever in “Somewhere.”  A part of me wonders if she accidentally labeled her rough cut as the final cut.  There are extended sequences of Stephen Dorff’s Johnny Marco just riding around in his car.  We get to watch his daughter, Elle Fanning’s Cleo, do her whole ice skating routine.  Oh, and some terrible strippers get to perform their whole routine, totally uncut.

The film’s story, if you can even call it that, revolves around Johnny’s empty lifestyle as he fails at being a father, husband, and a functioning member of society.  In other words, “Somewhere” is totally pointless.  But that’s precisely Sofia Coppola’s point.  And despite the fact that I was often times tormented and agonized by Johnny’s lack of purpose or direction, I could at least take comfort in knowing that the woman behind the camera had one.  C+2stars



One response

21 06 2013

This film for me is her second best film behind her masterpiece that is “Lost in Translation”. It’s because she went for something that was totally stripped down while exploring the downsides of celebrity with its ennui and boredom as I think Sofia meant for it to be boring.

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