Somewhere Directed by: Sofia Coppola Cast: Stephen Dorff, Elle Fanning, Chris Pontius Running Time: 1 hr 37 mins Rating: R Release Date: January 14, 2011 (limited)
PLOT: Johnny Marco (Dorff) slugs through his life and suddenly has to watch his daughter (Fanning) when she's in town.
WHO'S IT FOR? Nothing really happens. You'll really have to adore Coppola or Dorff to keep your focus. It's a little Hollywood insider but more mundane than you might think.
EXPECTATIONS: None. Coppola offers something. Dorff was a fantastic baddie in Blade. Obviously he's going for something different here.
ACTORS: Stephen Dorff as Johnny Marco: Very early on your realize Johnny is just going through the motions and is fairly bored with his life. How early do you realize? He falls asleep to stripper twins in one of the first scenes of the film. There isn't much growth or reflection. We're just watching. The charisma Johnny shows on the big screen isn't apart of this daily life. Therefore it's hard to get connected on this journey. Score: 5
Elle Fanning as Cleo: Cleo is Johnny's 11-year-old daughter. Did you ever think to yourself that you wish you had a chance to see Dakota Fanning ice skate an entire song when she was younger? Well, this film (and performance) will have to do. As for the acting, she'll mainly just being, existing. That takes talent, but we just don't know how much until we see more of Fanning. Score: 6
Chris Pontius as Sammy: Yes, this is one of the guys from Jackass. He's a buddy of Johnny and while he fits that role well, you can't stop from thinking ... when is he going to let a scorpion bite his junk? Score: 5
Kristina Shannon as Bambi and Karissa Shannon as Cindy: Twins! Or in Somewhere's case ... twins (sad sigh). Watch their faces. It's amazing, sad, interesting and perhaps all an accident. These two have movements of boredom and forced smiles while performing for Johnny in his hotel room. It's completely deflating and that has to be what Coppola was trying to get out of these two. Score: 7
TALKING: Not much. We're teased with a stalker sending angry text messages but it's just a tease. Even when Johnny is standing next Benicio Del Toro in an elevator, we're just left with "hey." Score: 4
SIGHTS: Coppola knows how to craft a scene or image. But for me, she doesn't have down how long each scene should be. Score: 5
SOUNDS: "There Goes My Hero" by the Foo Fighters is one of the songs that the twins strip to for Johnny. Otherwise there is a ton of silence here. Score: 3
BEST SCENE: It's a toss up between Johnny's moment with the foreign press and Johnny getting a massage. The massage is probably the broadest moment of comedy in this film.
ENDING: No more circles for Johnny. Now it's a straight line. Get it? Yeah, you do, and so did I.
QUESTIONS: Is it just me or does this feel like an insanely high quality student film?
REWATCHABILITY: There is a part of me that wants to make sure I know the feelings that were attempted here and a second viewing would help. But I also think I'd need to be ready with the fast-forward button.
Do you want to see what a Hollywood star's life is really like? There's something seductive about that idea. Unfortunately the application of Somewhere doesn't fulfill. This film feels like a behind the scenes of a making of a behind the scenes of an DVD extra. I don't know what the purpose is here. I mean, I understand if Johnny finally realizes to change his lifestyle from almost nothing to a little bit of something, but that can't be all that's going on here, right? I actually feel like we don't get to know Johnny or any other character even though we are exposed to everything. I feel like you could cut half the film and get the same emotion.
There is a big difference between Somewhere and Lost in Translation. I think it has a lot to do with the leads. We are always desperate for more Bill Murray. His bizarrely addictive face controls the quiet in that movie. Dorff just doesn't have it. He seems perfectly able for this role, but no one talks about their love of Dorff, especially not with the same affection as Murray.
Actually, now that I think about it, Somewhere feels lost in translation.
FINAL SCORE: 4/10