Sofia Coppola's Somewhere, which will have its Venice Film Festival premiere this evening, has received its first review from the Evening Standard's Derek Malcolm, and it's basically a "hmmm"-type response.
"Anyone expecting fireworks from Sofia Coppola after the lavish and controversial Marie Antoinette will be disappointed with Somewhere," he begins. Fireworks?
"This quiet and restrained portrait of Hollywood star Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff) and his on-off relationship with his 12-year-old daughter Chloe (Elle Fanning) is not the noisy showbiz chronicle other directors might well have made it.
"Johnny, divorced, lives in a suite at the Chateau Marmont Hotel. He drives a Ferrari, can pull any girl he likes, drinks a bit too much and takes the usual pills. We first see him in bed as two nubile blondes perform a pole-dancing number. He's too tired to do anything but watch with a lazy smile.
"He is, however, not a brash or a bad man. He accepts his life of luxury with a shrug of his shoulders, doing what's asked of him politely and never losing his temper. When Chloe comes to visit, he tries to keep her out of harm's way, especially when they go to Italy for a dreadful junket culminating in a Berlusconi-type TV show.
"Coppola suggests the burgeoning relationship between the two, and Johnny's basic discontent. [But] the film has no big dramatic moments, just a series of sequences gradually making the watcher aware of just why there's a text on Johnny's phone stating: 'Why are you such an arsehole?'" I'll bet money here and now that the spelling is different in the film.
"Dorff and Fanning play naturally and well -- Coppola gives them every chance. It's an unexpected change of gear for Francis's daughter, who says her childhood is mined in the film." Unexpected? It's been fairly well telegraphed that Coppola is a fan of Michelangelo Antonioni, and that Somewhere was at least somewhat influenced by his early '60s films.
Malcolm suspects that Somewhere "may last in the memory a little more than Marie Antoinette, if not quite as long as Lost In Translation."
The Telluride Film Festival kicks off today, but for whatever reason the website doesn't offer a schedule. There's a PDF slate, but it's from last year.