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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Somewhere awesome...
Sofia Coppola is a fascinating director from The Virgin Suicides through Lost In Translation and Marie Antoinette she has a unique style and repeatedly visits certain themes. People often love or hate her films, there are very few `meh' responses as Coppola treads a cinematic path all her own - at once fantastical, whimsy, soul-wired and life-affirming...
Published on 5 April 2011 by Matt Adcock

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhere, Nowhere.
Miss Coppola has directed four feature films.
The peerless 'Lost in Translation', and 'The Virgin Suicides' are about restraint, one internally and the other externally imposed.
'Somewhere' and 'Marie Antoinette' are about lack of restraint.
They could not, however, be more different.
The protagonist, Johnny, has it all and he has nothing. His...
Published 19 months ago by mr blue


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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Somewhere awesome..., 5 April 2011
By 
Matt Adcock (Hitchin, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Somewhere [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Sofia Coppola is a fascinating director from The Virgin Suicides through Lost In Translation and Marie Antoinette she has a unique style and repeatedly visits certain themes. People often love or hate her films, there are very few `meh' responses as Coppola treads a cinematic path all her own - at once fantastical, whimsy, soul-wired and life-affirming.

Somewhere is the tale of Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff), who is film star, womaniser, hard living `guy' first and sometime father to his smart, lovely daughter Cleo (Elle `going to be a bigger star than her sister Dakota' Fanning). The film eschews having a traditional story and rather works through three `acts', each of which sees Dorff in a different light.

Somewhere is a very visual film, it may have little dialogue but it still has a brilliant `feel' which viewers will either connect with and love or reject and hate. The father / daughter bonding is the engine that drives the plot - basically we get to tag along as Cleo visits her dad and gets to experience his movie star lifestyle.

Before his daughter's arrival, women are just objects to Marco - expressed in a great double bill of scenes where hot blonde twins pole dance for him in his Chateau Marmont hotel room - and despite their eager efforts he can barely keep himself awake. When Cleo impacts his life he has to do dad duties such as watching her ice-skate and the remarkable juxtaposition of his seeing her as a girl developing into a woman makes him re-assess his whole world view.

Somewhere is a wonderful film and it looks fantastic on Blu-Ray - it made my top 10 films of 2010 and I highly recommend seeking it out!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sometime, somehere you will find something elegant, touching (but unsentimental) and worth watching., 16 Jan 2011
This review is from: Somewhere [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
After her opulent 2006 effort Marie Antoinette [DVD] [2006] fell so flat with critics, Sofia Coppola apparently decided to scale down her vision and go for something close to home, directing a quiet, modest, and altogether affecting little drama with 2010's "Somewhere".
Following a burned-out action star named Johnny (Stephen Dorff) as he spends a week with his heretofore neglected 11-year-old daughter, Cleo (Elle Fanning), while her mom -- whose relationship with Johnny, we assume, was brief -- is out of town, the movie acts as a fly on the wall while the unlikely pair bum around his massive suite at the Chateu Marmont, embark on a brief press tour to Italy, and learn some largely unspoken lessons about happiness, parenthood, and the ridiculousness of life in Hollywood.
Dorff made minor waves in the '90s as a tough-but-pretty boy in movies like "S.F.W.", which made him few friends in critical circles.
But even the actor's harshest critics would have to agree that this only makes him better suited for his role in "Somewhere", since the less you like him, the more believable the part becomes. And certainly it can be said that Elle Fanning does a more than adequate job of portraying the innocent but pensive preteen Cleo, but it's not an overly difficult job, since Cleo is not required to demonstrate a particularly large range of emotions.
But that's not a slight against anyone; emotionally, this movie is about Johnny. Indeed, even though we sit through plenty of obligatory scenes in which Cleo is just barely shielded from the hollow drinking and womanizing that fill Johnny's days when he isn't getting a hundred times more out of life just sitting by the pool with his little girl, Coppola makes it clear that Cleo is doing just fine. As long as her dad is around -- just enough to buy her a new backpack, hear her talk about Twilight, etc. -- she's okay.
Cleo doesn't need some big, torrential scene where she screams and cries about why her dad isn't around more -- he's around enough.
By the time the movie reaches any kind of emotional apex, it's clear that if there's a problem, it's Johnny's. Coppola's use of symbolism can be a little heavy-handed at times (the movie opens on Dorff in his sports car, literally driving in circles), but she still avoids coming off as trite.
This may be because she remains so restrained in the simplicity of her message. While there have been any number of films about parenthood, most all of them have attributed particularly grand meaning to it, espousing in all caps that good parents get more meaning out of life! Bad parents ruin their kids' lives! Whereas the message of "Somewhere" is much more nuanced: all you have to do is be there. Cammila Albertson

Sfw [DVD] [1995] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhere, Nowhere., 4 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Somewhere [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
Miss Coppola has directed four feature films.
The peerless 'Lost in Translation', and 'The Virgin Suicides' are about restraint, one internally and the other externally imposed.
'Somewhere' and 'Marie Antoinette' are about lack of restraint.
They could not, however, be more different.
The protagonist, Johnny, has it all and he has nothing. His recreations are casual sex and his Ferrari. He has freedom and money galore. But there is no focus to his life, that is until he is obliged to care for his pubescent daughter (Cleo). She is his emotional salvation and in her innocence is the antithesis of the other women in his life. She redeems him.
The film moves unhurriedly, sometimes very slowly. It give the viewer time to think. But it never grabbed me. I remained indifferent to Johnny's existence. I didn't care about him; but I did care about Cleo, though not excessively because I knew she would not be corrupted. Hence it almost, but not quite, failed for me.
Yes, I'll watch it again, but not for some time.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Boring yet engaging, 3 Jan 2011
This review is from: Somewhere [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
I have to confess that when the film started I started to think that the negative reviews of this film were correct - words like 'indulgent' 'gratuitous' and 'laboured' started flowing through my mind. But I would urge you to stick with it beyond the difficult first 15 minutes.

The film starts to engage you from the moment that Dorff's character, Johnny Marko's daughter, Clio - played superbly by Elle Fanning - enters the frame. Slowly but surely Marko seems to revitalise out of his otherwise moribund Hollywood existence. Yes, its an obvious point - a father enjoying time in the company of his daughter whilst his ex-wife / partner is away, but it is one that is well-played.

This is a better film than Lost In Translation to my mind. In Lost in Translation, I found it hard to empathise with Johansson or Murray who were effectively just 'bored' in Tokyo. They were adults in an amazing city who were just too American and introverted to grasp what was right in front of them. Dorff's character is trapped within the confines of his fame and industry - a bit like Joaquin Phoenix perhaps in 'I'm Still Here' - but without the farcical question of 'is this real or a mockumentary?' to distract you. And you do have quietly engaging performances from the two leads, as opposed to Phoenix's laboured and self-indulgent faux meltdown.

It is a slow film. It can be frustrating. And ultimately nothing really happens. Yet it managed to keep me interested despite this. So there's definitely something, somewhere in this film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars la la la, 9 July 2013
This review is from: Somewhere [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
There is a number of ways we could interpret this movie and I think that is very much its strength. It is visually arresting but subtle in its delivery of information with which viewers can glean insight into the motives of the characters. It is slow moving and seems to linger just too long in many scenes but nevertheless one wonders if there is a compelling reason for this. I imagined it was about the redemptive power of children/animals/elderly people but really it doesn't have to be read that way. I particularly enjoyed the final scene and in my opinion this is Marco on his long march to rehab. After all, there is a gravy train to be kept rolling.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An underrated film?, 5 July 2013
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This review is from: Somewhere [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
Most reviewers tend to focus on the figure of Johnny - but what about Cleo, his 11-year-old daughter? She is resilient, well-adapted, flexible, at ease in adult company, socially practised, accomplished in every way. But also sad, neglected by egocentric parents who no doubt love her but see her as a bit of a nuisance in their lives. She needs to move, as 11-year old children need to do. This is clearly signalled in a number of scenes. But what chance to move within the claustrophobic confines of the Chateau Marmont? She wants to play, something that Johnny's own childhood pal picks up. Johnny himself scarcely notices. A scene in a hotel swimming pool scarcely big enough to swim two or three strokes illustrates this most poignantly: Cleo vigorously swimming back and forth like an animal in a tiny cage.

There are revealing moments of deep sadness. Cleo is not at all keen to experience her father sleeping around - something he can ill conceal from her watchful and over-adult eyes. And in the key scene of the film, she reveals in one brief moment her deep sadness, her insecurity and anxiety. Johnny is sympathetic but has no adequate response: he just packs her off to summer camp. And of course we then see her setting off to summer camp as resilient, well-adapted, flexible... As ever. You could say that Johnny doesn't do anything terribly wrong as a father, he is kind and understanding and non-judgemental with his daughter. But is that enough? No doubt she will get all the movement she needs at the summer camp - but will she not sadly miss the family she doesn't really have?

It is hard not to draw personal parallels between Sophia Coppola and Cleo: after all, Sophia was once the 11-year-old daughter of a huge Hollywood personality. This is a beautifully photographed, beautifully acted, superbly directed film. Understatement all the way. Watch it twice, at least, to see the fine details which tell us so much that is not loudly expressed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A measure of beauty and sadness, 2 April 2013
This review is from: Somewhere [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
I thought this was a beautiful look at the life of a deeply sad actor, living what may be seen as a `dream' lifestyle but appearing ultimately lonely and depressed. This film does not have a beginning, middle and end as such; it instead observes the existence of the main character Johnny and takes a look at his changing attitude towards being a parent. If you liked Sofia Coppola's `Lost in Translation', you should like this as it has a similar feel. For anyone who just likes observing life and observing people this is a good film choice. If you are looking for action or something terribly gripping this film won't tick any boxes. However for the more philosophical film watcher this should hit the spot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle, 22 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Somewhere [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
Like other Sophia Coppola movies you need to be in the correct mindset to enjoy it the most, you need to "drink" it slowly, if you do, it will come back to your mind one and again as a memory that makes you think. There are not so many of these. It is another Sophia Coppola's subtle, beautiful portrait of loneliness. A small work of art.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Somewhere is incredible, 1 May 2012
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This review is from: Somewhere [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I seem to be in the minority of people who love this film. If you like Coppola and have seen her previous works such as Lost In Translation you know what to expect. This film is deliberately slow, with longer takes than most films. I feel this film works best when you watch it by yourself in complete darkness, turn your phone off so you have no distractions. This is when the film is most powerful, and will hypnotise you with its beautiful composition and excellent music, and you will appreciate the growing relationship between a father and a daughter.
The plot in this film is minimal, and there is no cheesy epiphany tacked onto the end, like in a mainstream Hollywood film. The main protagonist is just as lost at the end as the the beginning, but this is what makes the film so great.
This is how relationships are in real life, complete with long pauses, and feelings of loneliness and isolation punctuated by moments of real connection with other human beings.
If this review has put you off, then good. You probably wouldn't like this film anyway. However give it a chance, and you will be stunned by this film.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Somewhere: Nothing happens once, 11 July 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Somewhere [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
When Beckett's absurdist masterpiece `Waiting for Godot' was first staged a reviewer famously wrote `Nothing happens, twice. Nobody comes nobody goes, it's awful'. Sophia Coppola's latest offering is far less ambitious, nothing still happens but only once. The rest of the comment still applies though - nobody comes, nobody goes, nobody does anything or says anything. It's awful. Which is a shame, after watching and thoroughly enjoying `Lost In Translation' I happily sat down to watch this expecting more of the same. It's a similar story to Lost in Translation, a famous actor adrift in the Hollywood machine and trying to make some meaningful connection with another human being. But Stephen Dorff's Johnny Marko just meanders around LA and never actually does anything proactive. No incidents of any interest happen to him. No characters of any interest interact with him. There is nothing of any interest in the film. Added to which is a particularly flat direction that relies far too much on heavy handed metaphor, and when not being heavy handedly metaphorical is just dull and does not give the viewer anything with which to engage with the film. The only thing that vaguely interested me in the whole film was the revelation that there is such a thing as a collapsible portable pole for pole dancing. I felt that was a poor return on the 90 or so minutes I had invested in the film.

It's pretentious and boring. At least when the likes of Terence Malick do pretentious and boring they do it in a grandiose style. It tries too hard to be a hip indie film, but fails as it is so obviously trying to be that sort of film. It tries to be meaningful, but like Shame (another dire film in which nothing happens and the director mistakes banality for meaningfulness) there is nothing for the audience to connect with so all meaning is lost and it just becomes an exceedingly dull meander. It's not worth laying out the extra cash for the Blu-Ray, it's just as pointless in high definition as it is in vanilla DVD low res. It's a stone cold turkey, avoid.
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