Will “Somewhere” Take You Anywhere?

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Photo: American Zoetrope
Photo: American Zoetrope

The world of movies has long been calling: in the first of her film reviews for GUM, Greta Fedaraviciute introduces Sophia Coppola’s stunning new film set in an iconic Californian hotel.

Frankly, Sofia’s Coppola’s name isn’t the one I keep my eyes on or mark my calendar forthe first screenings. But, after Tarantino handed her the Golden Lion in Venice Film Festivalthis year, I’ve got curious enough to give it a try. So, without big expectations but with someoptimism I headed to see “Somewhere”.

The movie starts with the scene of Ferrari going in circles, and ends, not surprisingly, with thesame car heading the direction. In between we get to know Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff) -the main character – successful Hollywood star who is stuck in his life with all fame and fortune.Women are hunting Johnny on every corner and then sending threatening messages (not abig surprise as he is no good on remembering names and has bad luck to fall asleep betweenbeautiful women’s legs). Well yes, the guy is bored. With everything. So he just keeps smoking,drinking and doing whatever his agent says. Though, Johnny isn’t suffering or depressed, hedoesn’t even seem to care about this dullness until his ex wife decides “she needs time” andleaves their 11 year old daughter Cleo (magnificently played by Elle Fanning) with Johny. Thegirl causes him to reveal that something is actually not quite right with the way he’s living.

Why you shouldn’t…
Predictability. Not in the way, that you have a feeling what’s gonna happen next and then it doeshappen (there are many great stories that are predictable, but engaging). This one is predictablein the way it is told and you don’t feel like caring about Johny at all, well yes, he is stuck andconfused, but who isn’t at times? That actually makes him no different, so one way or anotherhe will get over (that’s the only thing his ex has to tell, when he at last finds himself in the needof compassion). And finally, there is a lot of parody of the Hollywood industry that’s supposedto be funny, but it’s not. It’s bloody boring (especially if you have already seen it in “Lost inTranslation”).

Why you should…
It does actually have its moments. Well, at least one. There is a scene when Johnny is sitting inthe grim room with his face covered with some sticky substance and breathing deeply throughtwo holes. The scene last around 1 min in the silence. While listening to his breath you feellike this forced meditation should finally make him awake, but it doesn’t. Not then. There is stillalmost an hour ahead to wait for it.

In a word… if you have other places to be, just go there instead of somewhere.

Critics say: “In the end, the opening shot of a car doing laps seems unintentionally symbolicof Coppola’s career. With “Somewhere” she seems to be going round in circles.” A. Harkness/scotsmann.com

Watch the trailer for Somewhere on YouTube


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