Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere (2010), speaks much the same language as her terrific film of 2003, Lost in Translation. It is about a fictional A-list movie actor, Johnny Marco, who would seem to have everything — great success in his career, great wealth and fame, and a bright, vivacious 11-year-old daughter. But Johnny Marco is a man adrift; his existence is almost entirely hollow. Almost, because there is one thing saving his soul from complete emptiness: his daughter.
I am continuously surprised to find that these sporadic little titles that I like have been given Roger Ebert’s top recommendation:
Coppola is a fascinating director. She sees, and we see exactly what she sees. There is little attempt here to observe a plot. All the attention is on the handful of characters, on Johnny. He has attained success in his chosen field, and lost track of the ability to experience it. Perhaps you can stimulate yourself so much for so long that your sensitivity wears out. If Johnny has no inner life and his outer life no longer matters, then he’s right: He’s nothing.
Coppola presents Johnny Marco’s existence in a matter-of-fact, deadpan way that will remind you of Bill Murray in Lost in Translation. A lot of people might really hate this movie: there is no big car chase explosions, or high-stake drug heists, or vengeance killings — or anything even a tenth so dramatic. But I found Somewhere compelling and entertaining. 8/10