Sofia Coppola's upcoming film Somewhere, starring Stephen Dorff as a hard-partying actor visited by his eleven year-old daughter, isn't quite a Michael Bay movie, say early reviews. Of course, anyone familiar with Coppola's work already knows to expect affecting, pretty, and subtle storytelling, without a particularly complex guiding plot or obvious character developments. Mostly, that's what makes viewers either love or dislike her films. Well, early reviews of Somewhere, out today after the film premiered at the Venice Film Festival, reiterate that it is no Machete, but everyone seems to like it.
Somewhere stars Stephen Dorff as Johnny Marco, a Hollywood actor living in the Chateau Marmont hotel in Los Angeles. The question is, with his black Ferrari, pills, booze, room service and sex on demand, is he living the high life or trapped in a depressing cocoon? The appearance of his 11-year-old daughter, played by Elle Fanning, helps him grope towards an answer ... Coppola asked Dorff to stay at [the Chateau Marmont] every night during the shoot rather than go home every night ... but in Coppola's portrayal, the celebrity life is also quite boring ... still ... the feeling among critics is that [Coppola] is in with a chance [for the Golden Lion].
The London Evening Standard:
This quiet and restrained portrait ... is not the noisy showbiz chronicle other directors might well have made it ... Anyone expecting fireworks from Coppola after the lavish and controversial Marie Antoinette will be disappointed with Somewhere ... But it may last in the memory a little more than Marie Antoinette, if not quite as long as Lost In Translation.
The London Independent:
Coppola's achievement is to have made a quietly funny film about such an unsympathetic character. Somehow, she makes us care about the existential angst of a pampered celebrity living a deeply superficial life. Coppola's film-making style is detached and low-key. Aside from one or two sequences in which father and daughter voice their unhappiness, the characters keep their emotions in check. One drawback to her approach is that there is never really a sense of transition or character development.
A quiet heartbreaker.
Basically, if you like Sofia Coppola, you will like Somewhere. We're excited!
Sofia Coppola hits the right note in Somewhere [Evening Standard]
Rich, famous and depressed: Coppola's second take on celebrity life [Guardian UK]
First Night: Somewhere, Venice Film Festival [London Independent]