January 23, 2011

Movie Review: Somewhere (2010)

Sofia Coppola is an interesting film maker who always makes interesting films. Somewhere is no different. You can look at it as an existential examination of celebrity and a hollow life bred by fame, or it could just be a portrait of depression. It is probably a bit of both. The movie is one that needs to a multiple viewings to get all the nuance of. However, problems do exist as I am not sure I want to revisit it. Yes, I know that is an odd reaction for a film I like, but there it is.

Somewhere is a character study that lacks a traditional narrative flow. It never really builds to anything that I feel I can really care about. In a way, I felt as disconnected from the film as Stephen Dorff's Johnny Marco appears to be from his life. Somewhere is still a highly watchable movie and one I am glad to have seen, it just did not deliver the emotional involvement that the similar Lost in Translation brought me.

Stephen Dorff is Johnny Marco, a movie star who has become completely detached from things going on around him. Everything has become a bore to him. Take, for example, the twin strippers he hires to set up the portable poles and perform synchronized dances in his hotel suite's bedroom, he just looks utterly bored in what is a rather ridiculous sequence. You can also look at the junket he must attend for his latest film, the parties in his room, and the way he just wanders through everything.

The one thing that threatens to break him from his reverie is his daughter, Chloe (Elle Fanning). The change is a subtle one, and there are still questions as to whether or not it will have any long lasting effects. Still, there is no doubt that something is happening with him. He acts differently with her, her sunny disposition seems to be an inspiration for him.

Somewhere is a slowly paced film where nothing is overtly explained. All that you are meant to see is shown, anything and everything else is left to you to interpret. After watching it, I left knowing that I liked it, I did not love it. I know that I enjoyed the look inside the hollow loneliness of celebrity. I really liked Stephen Dorff's portrayal of celebrity detached depression.

Another thought I had was that this could be seen as so much navel-gazing by a celebrity whose not happy with the life of a rich guy. It is all a matter of perception. I do not think this was the intention of Somewhere, but different people will look at a depressed movie star in different ways.

Sofia Coppola does a good job of deflecting the "woe is the celebrity" by just never talking about it. There is no direct talk of Johnny Marco's movies, wealth (aside from his Ferrari), or anything directly related to fame. We are shown it in a much more matter of fact fashion. I attribute this to Sofia Coppola growing up around the business, offering a much different perspective on everything.

In the end, Somewhere is an interesting movie that deserves to be seen. I do wish I had a stronger emotional reaction, but I do wonder if that was not part of the point?


Related Posts with Thumbnails


Post a Comment