Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Somewhere (Sofia Coppola, 2011)

My brief review for Sofia Coppola's excellent Somewhere is up at The Final Girl Project. Coppola's most stripped-down film to date, Somewhere admittedly mines the same territory as Lost in Translation, but this is less a deadpan comedy than a wistful-yet-critical drama about the blurring ennui of Hollywood life, albeit one without sneering damnation. It's hard not to think of the film as autobiographical, but the relationship between a charmed but world-wise Elle Fanning (in a magnificent performance) and her anhedonistic actor father (Stephen Dorff) feels like a stand-in for all emotionally distant relationships. Still, the personal nature of the film adds layers of meaning and emotion to Coppola's indefatigable empathy for her characters. In her minimalism is a genuine emotion that makes this far more than some dry rant about childhood frustrations.

Note: I listed the film as a 2010 release on Sasha's site, but since it didn't receive wide release until this year, I'm going to consider it among this year's releases when I tally my favorites in Decemeber. At the moment, it rates in the upper echelon of the movies I've seen this year.

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