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3.1 out of 5 stars
3.1 out of 5 stars
Somewhere [DVD] (2010)
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on 5 July 2013
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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on 5 April 2011
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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on 3 January 2011
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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on 8 January 2013
love love love this film. watched it about 4 times. Elle Fanning is excellent as is Stephen Dorff. Sofia copolla is just excellent. cant wait to see what she does next.
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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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on 17 June 2013
The wonderful photography by the late Harris Savides looks stunning in the blu-ray. And the short documentary making of is a little piece of art.
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on 3 November 2013
I wanted to like this film SO MUCH as I love Sofia Coppola and I hold up The Virgin Suicides/Marie Antoinette/Lost In Translation as some of my favourite films of all time. But no, I'm afraid for me 'Somewhere' was severly lacking in any of the charm, style or substance of Coppola's previous films. The story line is a bit bleak and boring. Perhaps this would have been ok if there'd been an amazing soundtrack and stylistically the film was beatiful, but being set in modern day America is all a bit too familar and plain. With no interesting environments or characters, I just got bored with it. Shame.
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on 11 August 2014
This film is so bad I am going to buy it when it drops in price then lend it to my friends for a joke and tell them it's the best film I've ever seen and to persevere with it because it has a really good ending!!!!
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on 9 April 2011
Wholeheartedly agree with the reviews already posted, and having just sneaked in recording Lost In Translation only 2 days before this DVD arrived I can see why the two films can be seen as similar. But Ms Coppola is obviously very good at this genre of film so why change it? There are some poignant bits in it regarding his daughter's acceptance (or blind eye turning) and disapproval of his life (the bits she's witnessed rather than not). But only around 5 scenes in, where he sits at the lights next to the woman in the classic Mercedes going the last few yards home in the Hollywood Hills, you assume his playboy side. Though in reality it's an insight into his unhappiness that he doesn't have the proper home life to give his daughter (and you could safely assume he could afford it, it's maybe not practical for his job or maybe he's had this and given it up). But his daughter's distress later in the film suggests perhaps her relationship with her mother is not as settled or close as you'd think (does her mother often leave her with Dad or very rarely?). Also his relationship with hotel staff is warm and genuine (despite him looking a bit stifled by his popularity) whereas his relationship with media and co-stars is subdued. But you could imagine somebody else famous having opposite attitudes and not coming across well. Extremely enjoyable film, with a superb Bryan Ferry cover in the end credits.
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on 31 August 2015
Couldn't get past the first 5 minutes. Boring.
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