There's no denying Coppola displays great understanding of wealthy ennui in Somewhere. And as a film stylist, she hits some fine grace notes. Still, she and we have been here before, and empty hotel life does have its limits.
The writer-director of "Lost in Translation" and "Marie Antoinette" has made the malaise of the privileged her special turf. Ennui is her milieu. And Coppola has a talent for revealing its existential and cultural dimensions.
The movie is funny in a dryly sardonic way about movie-colony rituals and easy sex, but the funk of a noodling movie star is hardly a revelation of the absurdity of the human condition -- or whatever Coppola was getting at.
Both Dorff and 12-year-old Elle Fanning give lovely, unforced performances. You can feel a tenderness building between them, and also a vast, upwelling reservoir of things they can't or won't talk about.