Somewhere is excruciatingly slow and that’s coming from someone who is not a fan of frenzied, quick cuts and shaky cameras but this falls into the opposite extreme. Sofia Coppola, who does have a talent for casting and getting natural performances from actors, directs in an exceedingly languorous style and holds shots for so long that your mind wanders to the point you start composing your grocery list. I understand the point is to show how devoid of intimacy and rudderless the life of movie star, Johnny Marco played by Stephen Dorff has become. But, this is a movie and I need a story. What I get is a series of scenes, some of which I enjoy, make me laugh, and even draw me in. The problem is that they never fully take hold to become a cohesive whole. Somewhere feels like a film unfinished.

Where the film does succeed is in accurately and expertly capturing the often frivolous and empty side of Hollywood and the lonely isolation that life in Los Angeles can evoke. Stephen Dorff is completely believable as he goes from boredom to weariness to a slow self-discovery of himself and appreciation for Cleo, the 11-year old daughter he doesn’t really know. Elle Fanning is real and natural as the wise beyond her years Cleo who clearly has had to fend for herself but still remains a child at heart. The two have an easy chemistry and in my favorite and best scene of the movie, the two communicate with only their eyes and expressions as Cleo reprimands and Johnny feigns innocence then finally concedes to her all without a word.

Recommendation: Watch on DVD

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