Sofia Coppola inhabits such a thick bubble of fame, culture, and privilege that she needed the help of novelist Jeffrey Eugenides to imagine a middle-class family in her first and best feature, The Virgin Suicides (1999). Her subsequent movies as writer-director—Lost in Translation (2003), Marie Antoinette (2006), and now Somewhere—have all been meditations on the quiet suffering of the rich, in this case a scruffy, divorced, ennui-ridden movie star (played by the perpetually underrated Stephen Dorff). His typical evening involves twin strippers in his hotel room, and a visit from his young daughter (Elle Fanning) is supposed to expose the painful emptiness of his life. Fans of Coppola's movies (and/or perfume ads) will find this free of the absurd pop-rock flourishes in Antoinette and more consistent with the skilled tonality and narrative ambiguity of Translation. But if you're impressed by the fact that this won the Golden Lion at the Venice film festival, go look up the price of a flight to Venice.
Director: Sofia Coppola
Producer: G. Mac Brown, Roman Coppola, Sofia Coppola, Francis Coppola, Paul Rassam and Fred Roos
Cast: Stephen Dorff, Elle Fanning, Chris Pontius, Michelle Monaghan, Laura Chiatti, Simona Ventura, Benicio Del Toro and Lala Sloatman