'Somewhere' DVD Examiner Review, Written by: Karen Benardello
The public often feels that Hollywood actors have a charmed life after achieving unlimitless wealth and fame. But New York native Sofia Coppola hopes to debunk these ill-conceived beliefs in her fourth directorial effort, the Focus Features drama ‘Somewhere’ that stars Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning and is now available on DVD. The talented director hopes to prove with the small, low-budget film that everyone has doubts about their lives, and even the most successful people don’t always know how to deal with their new-found fame.
The core lessons presented in ‘Somewhere’ are similar to the themes presented in Coppola’s previous efforts, notably the main character facing challenges in their life and being forced to assume new responsibilities. The drama follows newly famous Hollywood actor Johnny Marco (played by Dorff), who has trouble adjusting to his new lifestyle. Despite living the high life at the Chateau Marmont hotel in L.A. and performing the numerous press obligations required for his new movie, he doesn’t seem content. Johnny deals with his loneliness by driving his Ferrari, drinking alcohol, taking pills and engaging in several sexual relationships with different women.
Johnny’s life drastically changes when his 11-year-old daughter, Cleo (portrayed by Fanning) shows up at his doorstep. Happy wallowing in his own pain, Johnny is reluctant to alter his ways when Cleo first arrives. However, after he discovers that her mother went away on vacation and has no immediate plans to return to their daughter, his entire prospective on life immediately changes.
While ‘Somewhere’ is similar to the overall themes presented in Coppola’s first three directorial efforts, including ‘The Virgin Suicides,’ ‘Lost in Translation’ and ‘Marie Antoinette,’ she deserves credit for attempting to slightly deviate from recycling all of their ideas. While her first three movies feature on feminine self-definition and maturation, Coppola easily transitions to instead focusing on a man’s seclusion and depression in ‘Somewhere.’ While Johnny doesn’t experience any major external conflicts because of his new fame and questioning of self-worth, as the movie has more of a character-based plot, Coppola is easily able to translate his lack of feeling of pleasure through her visual cues.
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