“Somewhere”, written and directed by Sophia Coppola, comes off as a self-indulgent, meandering, vanity project. Essentially, it is meant to convey Coppola’s own disdain for the “Hollywood lifestyle” that she endured while growing up the daughter of her famous father, Francis Ford Coppola. The film takes place over a period of perhaps a week, during which time the main character, Johnny Marco, a Hollywood actor, takes care of his estranged daughter while she visits.
During the film, we have glimpses into the hollow existence of this actor, his meaningless sexual exploits, and the mundane press conferences. The way this is handled by Coppola is to beat the audience over the head with this message. Someone needs to pull her aside and explain to her all about the concept of “less is more”.
Watching the movie was excruciatingly at times. In one scene, Coppola filmed lead actor Stephen Dorff for two full minutes doing nothing but sitting in a chair with a facial mould. No conversation. Just him breathing through holes in the gunk. Most of this minutia-obsession was foreshadowed in the first three minutes of the film, which consisted of Dorff driving his Ferrari around a closed track. The film style was something akin to watching hidden cameras in someone’s home or vehicle.
The only hint of conflict or crisis comes in the final 15 minutes, and is left mostly unresolved.
Devoted Coppola fans may find grains of enjoyment in her latest film, but I suspect a strong majority of people who watch this are going to find themselves wishing for the previous 100 minutes of their life back.