DVD review: 'Somewhere'
As a child of Hollywood privilege, Sophia Coppola has built her own writing-directing career on parting the veil of glamour that we envy in our so-called beautiful people and revealing an existential ennui beneath.
Clearly, this offspring of directing master Francis Ford Coppola is uniquely positioned to comment on the essential emptiness of movie-star wealth and fame. And in “Somewhere” (as in “Lost in Translation”) Coppola brings to bear her finely honed sense of irony and whimsy to create a minimalist visual poem on the down side of celebrity.
The glacial pacing, elegant melancholy and spare, formalized audacity of Coppola’s approach might be off-putting to some who expect moving pictures to always be moving, moving, moving. And hardcore cynics might scoff at a filmmaker who concerns herself so ardently and artfully with the emotional travails of pampered movie stars.
“Somewhere” opens with a wordless, astoundingly visceral image of a privileged life going around in meaningless circles. In partial frame on a barren California speedway we see a black Ferrari revving round and round the track apparently with no point. But that’s just the point.
The driver is hunky, thirtysomething actor Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff, fashionably stubble-faced and disheveled). He’s a star between movies, separated from his wife and biding his time in shabby-chic comfort at the funky Chateau Marmont hotel on Sunset Strip.
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