Sofia Coppola obviously knows the loneliness of wealth and privilege, her best expressions of it being Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette. In Somewhere, (which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival) she sticks to another small but extreme world, painting a telling and occasionally tedious morality tale about the pitfalls of such aspirations. This time she follows a film star (Stephen Dorff) living at LA's Chateau Marmont whose habit for fast cars and easy women has, lo and behold, not led to happiness. His only enriching experiences appear to be his relationship with daughter Cleo (Elle Fanning). More
Coppola masterfully creates an atmosphere of emptiness and ennui, whether it's a pregnant pause of the camera over a rumpled Stephen Dorff (as Johnny Marco) slumped on his couch, the lonely roar of his gear-shifts as he drives solo around LA or his grudging endurance of ridiculous press interviews. Stylistically at least, Coppola lets the truth of the situation tell itself.
It's not hard to imagine Coppola as Cleo, the little girl growing up in her father's lavish world, seemingly unaffected, and the preternaturally mature Fanning is a stand-out in the role. There are many endearing scenes as the pair's friendship flourishes. But if Coppola meant to make a commentary on the trappings of fame she needn't have written the main character as such a victim. Most people could tell you that living in a hotel, trying to fill the void with pole-dancing girls and a Ferrari does not amount to internal wealth. The guy is apparently a demi-god but his damaged soul is his own doing. Which makes it hard to feel sorry for him. Hide