Somewhere Movie Review

December 23, 2010

Somewhere Movie Review

It’s true: Somewhere starts with one of the best opening scenes in movie history. It’s a solitary Lambourghuini going round, and around, and around, and around, a racing track. Nothing else happens for a few long minutes. Just when you think that has to be it, it keeps going, and going, and going.

It perfectly sets up the idea of this movie. The life of a celebrity. It’s monotonous. Nothing much happens. Sure, it’s filled with sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll – but in the form of Guitar Hero played in your stuffy hotel bedroom just to fill up time. The life of a celebrity is just not that glamourous, and that’s what this movie is all about.

The celebrity is Johnny Marco, played by Stephen Dorff – but even this former hottie doesn’t provide much in terms of eye candy – he lurches around the film unshaven and in scruffy tees looking washed out. He’s a snapshot of any of the 20, 30-something actors of today who get around on their looks more than their talent, drive fast cars, adored by fans (and sleep with many of them), but who lead pretty vapid existences.

Life for Johnny is living at LA’s infamous Chateau Marmont, paying Barbie twins to perform pole dances for him in his bedroom, showing up for photoshoots, travelling to Milan for award ceremonies, parties, pain killers. And so on and so forth.

Distraction comes in the form of his 11-year-old daughter Cleo (Ellie Fanning), who he looks after on random weekends and who gets thrust upon him when her mother goes AWOL. But while you can tell he genuinely loves her, it just feels that she’s another way for him to pass the time. She’s a significant part of the movie, yet Sophia Coppola doesn’t delve much into her personality, which is disappointing, as it could have provided some rare emotion to the film. For the rest of the time you’re just sitting there, watching, thinking ‘so what?’ That’s probably the point but why the film lacks substance to me.

There are some poignant moments; again it’s those overly long shots in Sophia’s trademark faded light: of Johnny and Cleo lounging by the pool at the hotel, or Johnny sitting in clay getting a mask fitting for an upcoming movie, looking like The Blob.

Yes, it’s a film about nothing really. Which is what celebrity is all about. I felt the ending was silly and I longed for something richer. Lost in Translation is such a cult movie and I think it works much better than Somewhere, which I instantly forgot about as I left the cinema. And that’s never a good sign for me.

Have you seen Somewhere? Let me know what you thought!

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