Sofia Coppola’s latest film Somewhere is one of the many features playing at this year’s Venice Film Festival. The movie stars Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning as an unconventional father-daughter team who after a while apart are reunited — in a Hollywood hotel. The film chronicles their relationship and the effect the child has on her father’s playboy lifestyle. Here’s what the critics are saying…

The Premise

Somewhere is a precisely-observed, often silent portrait of a depressed movie star who sits and stares blankly at the wall, beer and meds at hand, when his publicist or manager isn’t telling him where to go or what to do. Marco knows how to be a movie star, he just doesn’t know how to live a life. [TOH]

The Acting:

It’s an appropriately distanced introduction to a man who doesn’t let much in, and Dorff underplays it beautifully, but both character and actor are unlocked when Johnny’s 11 year-old daughter Cleo (Elle Fanning) enters proceedings, and their warm, supple chemistry becomes the film’s dominant motor…Both actors are a delight: it’s higher praise than some might think to declare this Dorff’s finest hour, but it’s nonetheless a watershed performance that reflects on his established screen persona while adding softer accents. Fanning, meanwhile, is a quietly rewarding screen presence, perceptive rather than precocious, and possessed of one of the most deliciously subtle death-glares in the business. [In Contention]

The Direction:

Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere is a quiet heartbreaker. Trading Lost in Translation’s Tokyo hotel for Beverly Hills’ Chateau Marmont, the ever-perceptive writer-director further hones her gifts for ruefully funny observation and understated melancholy with this low-key portrait of a burned-out screen actor. Steeped in morning-after regret and centered around a strong performance by Stephen Dorff, the result is sure to frustrate those who require their plots thick and their emotions underlined. [Variety]


All of Coppola’s films to date have, to lesser and greater degrees, been focused on children of privilege (Marie Antoinette being the ne plus ultra), and some audiences may struggle with finding sympathy for Johnny and his zombiefied state of spoil-brat ennui. But if you roll with it, Somewhere is a rich and sophisticated film that draws its world so deftly it’s easy to forget it isn’t ours. [Empire]

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