Somewhere (Review)

Sofia Coppola drops another languid snapshot of existential longing

Feb 2, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Sofia Coppola’s first film since 2006's underrated Marie Antoinette is laden with the writer/director's now firmly established concerns: attractive (often young) people yearning, whether they know it or not, to connect and find some sort of deeper meaning in their privileged lives.

Somewhere’s simple setup centers on Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff), a self-involved movie star suffering from an existential malaise who lives at Chateau Marmont (the height of Hollywood decadence) and who spends his listless days falling in and out of bed with women when not promoting his latest movie. Marco's dazed existence is altered, if only slightly, when his 11-year-old daughter (Elle Fanning) is unexpectedly left in his care.

Coppola's laid-back visual aesthetic (ably aided by cinematographer Harris Savides) is matched by her continuing reliance on organic, seemingly freeform narrative. This languid, Antonioni-esque cinematic sigh will surely confound those looking for any kind of conventional “Hollywood” tropes (well, beyond its pretty surfaces and vacant semi-protagonist). Somewhere is about capturing a certain time and place in the life of a man with no particular destination in sight, which it does with stealthy, osmosis-like effectiveness. Grade: B

Opens Jan. 28. Check out theaters and show times, see the trailer and get theater details here.