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Review: ‘Somewhere’

Sofia Coppola’s New Film Goes Nowhere

Stephen Dorff stars as Johnny Marco in Sofia Coppola's

Credit: Focus Features

Above: Stephen Dorff stars as Johnny Marco in Sofia Coppola's "Somewhere."


KPBS film critic Beth Accomando reviews "Somewhere."


Sofia Coppola’s new film “Somewhere” (opening January 7 at Landmark’s Hillcrest Cinemas) is a disappointing work from the filmmaker who gave us “Lost in Translation.”

Sofia Coppola knows Hollywood. She grew up on her dad’s movie sets and got her first writing credit as a teenager. She says her new film “Somewhere” is set in Hollywood and focuses on a movie star named Johnny Marco.

"It’s not a movie about the film business," Coppola says in the press materials, "But it’s set in that world because it’s a colorful world and a fun background. But it’s really a story about this guy’s personal struggle and the relationship between the father and daughter."

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Focus Features

Elle Fanning and Stephen Dorff star as a daughter and her movie star dad in "Somewhere."

The father-daughter relationship is the heart of the film. When Johnny’s ex drops Cleo off with him for an extended stay he must get to know his daughter all over again.

JOHNNY: You’re really good.

CLEO: Thanks.

JOHNNY: When did you learn to ice skate?

CLEO: I’ve been taking lessons for three years.

Coppola has crafted beautiful mood pieces with films like “The Virgin Suicides” and “Lost in Translation.” But with “Somewhere” her delicate artistry is stretched thin. The subtlety that worked so well in her earlier films has now become mere pretention. The best thing in the film is Coppola’s insider view of Hollywood but she uses it simply to provide background details for a film that is little more than a self-absorbed celeb contemplating his naval.

"Somewhere” gives art films a bad name. Give it a pass and go rent “Lost in Translation.”

Companion viewing: "Oblivion," "Lost in Translation," "The Virgin Suicides"

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