On December 20, we were lucky enough to not only get an early peek at Sofia Coppola’s latest film, Somewhere, but Stephen Dorff himself graced viewers with his presence. A reserved and somewhat bashful man, Dorff answered questions about the movie that otherwise would have left us lying awake in bed wondering “what happened?”. Ok, maybe not that extreme, but getting a chance to listen to Dorff’s interpretations of his character really allowed the movie to come full circle. We had a little taste of what it would be like to be in the audience at Inside the Actors Studio… and got to stare at someone that is way too easy on the eyes.
For 98% of the film, the camera does not let Dorff out of its sight. Most of the time he isn’t even speaking; it’s quintessential Coppola. Like her past films (for example, Lost in Translation), the pace is slow, the mood is set through what isn’t said, and you walk away thinking and analyzing.
Dorff’s character, Johnny Marco, is an A-list actor who lives in the famed Chateau Marmont hotel in Los Angeles. He drives a Ferrari, and parties with the most beautiful people in L.A., but is going through the motions, numb. In a life that could be filled with anything and everything, Johnny spends his days alone.
When his daughter, Cleo, played (perfectly) by Elle Fanning, shows up at his room at the Marmont to stay with him indefinitely, Dorff has to confront his lifeless life.
The father and daughter duo are left to bond, and emotions that Johnny has lost touch with are revived by Cleo.
Aside from the story, the videography is in that signature Coppola helter-skelter style. Angles and long shots are interesting and visually appealing, as is the location of the flick itself. From Mulholland Drive to desert roads in California to Italy’s finest hotels, the scenery makes us want to skip town and move to the City of Angels.
The hotels are elegant and ooze history. Here’s an interesting tidbit: after the film, Dorff told the audience that the hotel in Italy was chosen because of Coppola’s memory of staying in a hotel with her father (filmmaker extraordinaire Francis Ford Coppola) in a massive suite that had its own pool. The grandiosity of it all struck her even as a young girl, and she wanted to feature the same look and feel in this movie.
Released to the public today, Somewhere
is special and a definite must-see. It is tender and funny, and Stephen Dorff says it best; “[Sofia] rediscovered me – she made me cool again.” We always thought he was cool, but after seeing Somewhere
, the bar’s been raised yet again.
A big thanks to Alliance Films for offering us screening tickets!