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film review: SOMEWHERE

film review: SOMEWHERE

I count Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation as one of my favorite films of the decade, and I have great respect for her other pictures—except for the one at hand. Somewhere, which somehow won the Golden Lion at this year’s Venice Film Festival, strikes me as a non-movie, an utter waste of time.

Apparently, others see profundities in what strikes me as an obvious, and superficial, examination of an actor’s life in Los Angeles, where he lives in pampered luxury at the Chateau Marmont. An absentee dad, he is suddenly saddled with the responsibility of looking after his daughter, which eventually causes him to—

—look inward for the first time and recognize the emptiness of his existence.

There: I’ve just saved you 97 minutes.

Coppola does capture the singular atmosphere of the fabled Sunset Strip hotel where so much of her film takes place. The scenes of her leading character attending a press junket, going for a makeup test, and functioning day-to-day all have a feeling of verisimilitude. Both Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning do good work and seem very natural together.

But those qualities, laudable as they may be, cannot outweigh an overwhelming air of tedium that infects the film from start to finish. I couldn’t wait for Somewhere to be over and take a breath of fresh air.

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Jon Liebling

Just spent – wasted – 97 minutes on this stillborn film. Quite possibly the single largest waste of celluloid I have ever experienced. Nice Ferrari, though.

Lyn Gilbert

I must say I agree with the comments of Denise. I do not go to the movies very often but when I do I prefer to see something memorable. This was definately boring and confirms my opinion that many American movies are a waste of time.

Denise Anne

This is the most boring movie I have ever seen in my life. It looks like neither the director nor the crew was even remotely interested in shooting this movie. I have a strong feeling they just left the camera rolling and went about doing other things (probably shopping for groceries or playing cards in the back room) while Stephen Dorff just sat in a couch for 30 minutes and then played video games for another 30 while sipping on one beer throughout.
Apparently shooting a car being driven down a road from different angles makes a movie Oscar worthy. (Blech!) Let’s not even talk about his moment of metamorphosis. I couldn’t for the life of me tell whether he was laughing or crying. Very nicely done really. The climax of the movie and you have to ask the person next to you whether the character is laughing (maybe because he looked stoned almost throughout the movie) or crying, it’s surprising he can because he’s practically devoid of any display of emotion through this 98 minute attempt at a movie. He couldn’t possibly have looked more bored while watching the twins swivel about on the poles erotically. I think the twins were probably the only two people in the movie who actually were interested in shooting this film.
All in all, I was short of sticking a fork in my eye! Maybe I should’ve, at least that would’ve been more entertaining.

Debra Levine

Thank you for your honest appraisal here, Leonard. Perhaps Sofia Coppola should not be writing her own scripts, but bringing her quirky visual sensibility to a story an expert has written.

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