Friday, September 3, 2010

Venice Film Festival: Sofia Coppola's "Somewhere"

At this moment, in Venice, it's raining like a war has ended. Water washing away all former sins, pointing the way to something beautiful. That's a metaphor, hopefully for the films this year. We've had several disappointments, and now it's time to move forward into something better. This morning, Sofia Coppola's new drama, Somewhere, premiered at Venice, and the critical word on the film is everything that I, and not anyone else, could have hoped for. Right now, they're saying that the film isn't a gargantuan failure, nor is it likely to be a huge awards contender. It's simply a nice, great movie, and I'm happy about that, more than anything else.

Guy Lodge from In Contention says, "The director will, inevitably, take some flak for making a third consecutive film about the alienating side effects of celebrity and privilege – but as with Woody Allen and Upper East Side intelligentsia, or Mike Leigh and Britain’s Tetley-swilling middle classes, this is world she knows and feels, and if she feels a responsibility to keep circling back to it in her work, then she should do so."

Meanwhile, Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood reports on the plot, "When his ex-wife dumps Cleo (Ell Fanning) on him for a week, Marco (Stephen Dorff) comes to life. He loves playing fantasy dad: Chloe can call room service at the Marmont to get anything she wants; he plays cards and Guitar Hero with her, takes her to Rome, and flies her via helicopter to play craps in Vegas. What happens after she leaves is key. Significantly, we feel for this guy, who could be utterly obnoxious, but is in a lot of pain. He’s a recent movie star, still adjusting, and Dorff admits to understanding his isolation away from a movie set. This is the role Dorff has been waiting for; it’s a real breakthrough for both him and Fanning."

Ultimately, Somewhere sounds like the nice lighthearted sort of film that isn't weighed down by Oscar potential. It doesn't have anything on its back, and I can't wait to see how it pays off.

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