Sunday, January 30, 2011


RYAN: Somewhere is the latest movie from writer/director Sofia Coppola and it stars lil' Elle Fanning, sister of Dakota, and... what's his name?CAROLINE: Stephen Dorff.RYAN: Oh right.CAROLINE: It's not inappropriate for you to forget his name because he's pretty much a has-been at this point. I've thoroughly enjoyed some of Sofia Coppola's movies in the past, especially Lost in Translation, so I was really looking forward to this one; but it disappointed me. It's really slow, not dramatic enough and ultimately just not that satisfying.RYAN: Here's my problem with Sofia Coppola as a director: she's now going out of her way to make a statement with the choices she makes in framing, camera angles and cinematography. The very first shot of the movie is static with a car doing racing laps in and out of frame, and it just felt like she was trying to make art for art's sake. It's not creative, it's just stupid.CAROLINE: The movie is about a famous actor who theoretically has the life we all dream of, but it turns out he's actually pretty lonely, he drinks too much and doesn't have many real friends. He also has a daughter, and from the trailer I assumed that they're estranged until she has to come stay with him for a few days... but it turns out he already sees her semi-regularly, so her staying with him isn't all that dramatic or different. She's just with him a little longer than usual. The stakes weren't high enough for me.RYAN: Totally. I kept waiting for a big dramatic reveal or something interesting to happen, and it didn't. However, there is some growth for the character and I felt like he'd learned something by the end.CAROLINE: Yes, but it wasn't enough for me. I kind of enjoyed the movie as a slow study of this dude's life, but ultimately I was just underwhelmed.RYAN: My biggest problem was that whether or not you thought the story was there, her direction does a disservice to it. She's too precious with her material.CAROLINE: There are so many scenes without dialogue, and some of them are unnecessarily long. I read an interview where Stephen Dorff said the script was only 48 pages when he first got it. I'm sorry but it's not that hard to set up a camera and shoot a guy drinking a beer or sitting by the pool.RYAN: Yeah, Sofia kind of phoned it in this time.CAROLINE: I can be down with a moody, meditative movie, but I'm not that impressed with this one. And here's something weird - he spends a lot of time with this one guy in the movie, and I just assumed he was friend; but later I read an article saying it was his brother. The movie does nothing to illustrate that.RYAN: Really?? I had no idea that guy was his brother. Now I'm confused.CAROLINE: I know. Elle Fanning is fine in her role. She's kind of picked up where her sister let off now that Dakota's too old for parts like this. For Hollywood's sake, I hope there's another Fanning sister to take Elle's place once she pubertizes.RYAN: I will say that she redeems herself from The Nutcracker in 3D with this performance.-- BOTTOM LINE --RYAN: It's a very slow, not that compelling movie. It's nowhere near the caliber of Lost in Translation or even The Virgin Suicides. If you're a fan of independent film, and by that I mean slow and low budget with very little dialogue, then this is for you. Or if you just want to keep up with the Sofia Coppola canon.CAROLINE: I didn't hate it, but I thought I was going to like it a lot more than I did. This movie is a rental at best.-- RATING --Cheeky & Fresh Movie Reviews

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