After the lavish Marie Antoinette, Coppola returns to the itinerant lifestyle of the lost and the privileged. In the wonderful Lost in Translation, a young woman (Scarlett Johansson) makes a connection with a sad movie star (Bill Murray) in a sleek, expensive Toyko highrise hotel. In Somewhere, Marco is forced out of a bout of narcissism and depression by the arrival of his eleven-year-old daughter Cleo (Elle Fanning).
There are no fast cuts in Somewhere. Many of the best moments of the film work in tandem with the music: not only Fanning on ice, but also two scenes in which blond twin sisters perform a private pole dance in Marco’s hotel room: first, dressed as sexy nurses; later, as tennis players.
Initially, Marco is an impossible character to care about. He pops illicit pills, he falls asleep on his dancers, he races his Ferrari, he is rude to guests at his own party. Poor sad movie star. Who doesn’t want his problems? But when his daughter Cleo arrives, Marco is required to change and that’s what he does. He rises to the occasion and does so beautifully. We are able to forgive him for racing his Ferrari, bored with the world, or falling asleep while giving cunnilingus to a beautiful woman.
Writers are often told to write what they know. With Somewhere, Coppola is doing just this. Clearly, she knows movie stars. The 39-year-old director also has children. She has been in and out of the Chateau Marmont her entire life, and the film is a loving portrait not just of father and daughter, but also the place itself. Yes, there are supermodels next door, and rock stars doing drugs, the promise of regular sex with fawning groupies, but there is also the old waiter who serenades a tired Cleo with the song Teddy Bear. It’s a tender and unexpected moment. Coppola continues to surprise and amaze with her singular view of the world.
Directed by: Sofia Coppola Produced by: Francis Ford Coppola, Fred Roos, Paul Rassam
Running Time: 1 hr. 38 min.
Release Date: December 22nd, 2010
MPAA Rating: R for sexual content, nudity and language. Distributors: Focus Features