While we don't always need to relate to enjoy a film, it's naturally hard to feel sorry for an actor and his situation because people can't directly relate but whereas 'Lost in Translation' absolutely nailed that predicament, this film never got as close. I was never bored watching the film though and it went by very quickly, it's just that I felt distant and wished it had more of this excellent relationship. The relationship between father and daughter, when it happens, is excellently written and very natural, the actors actually spent some time together before filming and it seems to echo home for Coppola herself, in a way. The acting in the film is great, Stephen Dorff gives an excellent performance as does Elle Fanning. Dorff really threw himself in the role and fit well in it and he actually stayed at the Chateau Marmont, I later read that his role was actually written for him! And he also reminded me of Ben Affleck at parts. As previously stated, they work excellently with each other; there are other actors, that all do great jobs, especially Pontius as he was a lot of fun but this is their show. I even noticed Benicio del Toro in a very surprising and weird cameo, I was thinking, 'is that... Oh it is!', I could tell by his face who it was but it was still a weird little moment, I don't think I even paid attention to what was going on in that little scene, I was just so surprised! See if you can find him when you watch it! Sometimes though, just slightly, it did seem a bit forced just to show how disconnected he was. Really? He asked her why she wasn't at school and he didn't know it was a Sunday, or that he didn't know she had been doing ice skating for three years? Speaking of that scene, he kept looking at his phone and again, it felt forced.
The cinematography is gorgeous and has an interesting opening shot and the whole film has a trancelike quality, which is certainly a positive as it fits in with one of its themes and I found myself not being able to look away, regardless of whether I felt emotionally distant or not. It has a great soundtrack, a familiar sounding one to one of Coppola's previous films- that was the one I referenced at the start of this review. However, I do think that sometimes a shot was focused on too long and while for some of them it was the point, others it felt like it wasn't but funnily enough as soon as I thought about them being long; they stopped. The final shot of the film, while nice, felt like it was betraying everything that came before it and felt too clean for something like this, however, I felt like I could relate to that direct moment because of how I'm reviewing films again and I feel like I've watched the film at a really good time, but don't worry, I won't let that affect my score. I do love how subtle the film is though and it does portray its themes very well and it has some moments of absolute beauty, the scene by the pool is one of my favourites and it made me smile, the song playing in that scene is excellent too.
Overall, I liked it, it's confidently directed by Coppola and features a pair of excellent performances and it's a nice, little and different kind of story but I just wish it had more of the last half in the first and had more of an emotional impact but maybe that's my problem and it's on me? You know those films that people say aren't for everyone? Well, this is certainly one of them.
Slow and unencumbered by sticky inconveniences like plot and character development, Somewhere goes nowhere. The film drifts from one episodic bit of nonsense to the next. All the while, father and daughter enjoy conveniences that no normal person could aspire to, and some mysterious plotline about threatening text messages wanders in on its way to another film.
I never think about Stephen Dorff, but I'm always glad when I see him in a film. For a while, I was compelled by his performance, but when I realized that the film forgot to figure out what its plot is, I stopped caring.
Overall, I'm starting to think that Sofia Coppola's one trick was Lost in Translation, but then there's The Virgin Suicides too, so I guess she's a two-trick pony.