Thursday, October 27, 2011


Sofia Coppola has my loyalty. I find her to be an interesting filmmaker. She has a proven track record. I loved Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette, and really enjoyed The Virgin Suicides. From here on out, when she makes a movie, I want to see it. Somewhere isn't what I expected. It's a VERY atmospheric character-driven movie, which is to apologetically say very little happens. I can be on board for that, but I needed more than what was given. Stephen Dorff is not my favorite actor. Truth be told, I can't find a single redeeming performance in his filmography. He should be perfect in the part of a B-list actor who falls asleep to pole dancing ever other night or so. He kind of is. I can't think of an actor who'd play the part better. The problem is, he doesn't have much to play. He has a few choice scenes where he gets to ACT, and he plays them fine. I wanted more. I wanted Coppola to give him more to do, more to say, and more to be. If the story of an long-absent parent whose new quality time with their child leads them to reexamine their life sounds familiar, you'd be right. Elle Fanning, so full of life and vigor in Super 8, is quiet, sweet and dull as the returning child. Coppola doesn't play it conventional. She's more interested in how the quiet in a noisy scene can convey a character's loneliness or emptiness without hitting you over the head. I want to be rewarded for noticing. I want my attention to be worth something in Somewhere. Instead, Coppola is inching closer to the sparse atmospheric movies of another indie-auteur, Gus Van Sant (Elephant, Last Days, Gerry). I don't like it.


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