Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Somewhere (2010)

Directed by: Soffia Coppola
Starring Stephen Dorff, Elle Fanning.

Johnny (Stephen Dorff) is a Hollywood actor and hard-partying playboy. He lives at the Chateau Marmont, a private hotel for the rich and famous, where he spends his time filled with strippers, meaningless sex and partying with superficial friends.  He's got good looks, charisma and knows how to work in front of the camera, but he seems to just go through the motions of his work, not feeling anything for what he is doing. Johnny begins to re-examine his life after a surprise visit from his 11 year old estranged daughter, and soon discovers that his life is meaningless.

Director Sophia Coppola uses the same formula she used in "Lost in Translation" (2003) of a movie star who has become disconnected with his success and more importantly, his loved ones. Just as Bill Murray fit the mold of an aged, has-been movie star in "Lost in Translation", Stephen Dorff  fits the mold well for the character he is portraying in "Somewhere."  Elle Faning plays the role of Cleo, Johnny's daughter and this young star is going to have a brilliant acting career ahead of her. Fanning connects well with her character. As in her real life, she has grown up in the Hollywood lifestyle, the same as her character in the movie has.

I will admit that the narrative moves at a rather slow pace, but in this film it seems to work to its advantage. This film is about personal discovery, and it's not a quick process. No matter how much success a man has, none of it matters if his life has no purpose or meaning. Strippers will come and go. Anonymous sex will come and go. Superficial friends will come and go. But when a man starts to take inventory of what's really important in his life he will realize that family, close friends, and loved ones are the only things that truly matter...

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