10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Boring yet engaging,
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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Initial post: 11 Jul 2012 13:27:41 BDT
Generous review. I disagree with your conclusion because I had a similar experience of watching it - it kept my interest sufficiently for me to not switch it off. But I think that's simply because the physical and social setting (i.e. LA/Ch. Marmont and celebworld respectively) have a ready-made superficial interest / curiosity value, as does the basic situation of the father-daughter relationship. Elle Fanning's performance, limited though it is, has charm too.
But nothing interesting is done with these materials at all. Nothing. It couldn't be triter. If it were credible, I'd be tempted to think it was an exercise in post-modern meta-triteness, but sadly there's no reason to doubt that this is the best Coppola could do and that neither she nor anyone around her stopped and said "this really isn't worth the bother, let's forget about it."
I do agree that it's better than Lost in Translation though - that was horrendous.
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