Monday, January 24, 2011


Sofia Coppola is a fine filmmaker who deserves to be judged on her own merits and not her father's last name. With Somewhere, again working from a minimalist script, she makes the material interesting and occasionally compelling through wise directorial choices. The story revolves around Johnny, a movie star living out of an L.A. hotel who seems pretty uninterested in the hedonistic lifestyle he leads: he gazes uninterested as two exotic dancers pole dance in front of his bed, he falls asleep in a compromising position with a woman during sex, and he fuels himself with pills, booze, and cigarettes. One night he is watching a program on Mahatma Gandhi, perhaps a longing for a meaningful life. Then his chance comes-his daughter's mother calls and says she needs personal time and also needs him to watch their 11 year old daughter. Now we have seen this plot before, but it seems fresh thanks to the fine performances of Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning, and again the wonderful direction of Sofia Coppola.