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The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News



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Sofia Coppola’s latest: a fresh take on the effects of stardom

Film Review

By Danielle Wong

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The black screen fades to reveal a puzzling scene. A gleaming Ferrari races around a dusty dirt road. Its engine roars with power until the car finally slows to a stop and a figure steps out of the vehicle. The driver, a scruffy man dressed in a simple T-shirt and jeans, is an unexpected disappointment. Couldn’t he have been a rebellious bad boy, taking that Ferrari out for a joy ride? Sadly, no. This man is Johnny Marco. And as will soon be revealed, his life is anything but joyful.

This is the opening of Sofia Coppola’s new film, “Somewhere.” The director’s latest creation has a lot driving its undeniable success. Recently, “Somewhere” won the Golden Lion at the 67th Venice International Film Festival.

Stephen Dorff (“Public Enemies”) takes the lead as Johnny Marco, an apathetic actor who recently finished shooting an action movie. He returns to L.A. to continue the publicity tour, reluctantly making appearances at the urgings of his agent.

Much of the film is set at the Chateau Marmont, a famous hotel and popular meeting spot of many celebrities.

Marco’s day-to-day schedule is uneventful, contrasting the glamorous image that a Hollywood star’s life usually projects. He seems to take a backseat in his own existence. Marco spends his time watching strippers, lying in the hotel pool and downing beers in his suite.

Eventually, his daughter Cleo comes into the picture and exposes a different side of the actor. Played by Elle Fanning, Cleo ultimately sparks a change in her father. His meaningless one night stands gradually disappear as he spends more time with her. She is the one person about whom he truly cares.

“Somewhere” is filled with long silences, exaggerated by the relatively boring life that Marco leads. By incorporating dialogue sparingly, Coppola draws attention to the film’s cinematography. Coppola used camera lenses that belonged to her father, imparting a vintage feel.

Possessing a clearly influenced background, Sofia’s exploration of the craft began years ago. She is the talent behind films including “The Virgin Suicides” and “Lost in Translation.” Coppola has a fresh take on the effects of stardom, which are magnified in the film.

“Somewhere” is essentially an in-depth character analysis. Expect introspective elements and a few heart-warming moments. As the movie concludes, viewers may be subtly prompted to think about the choices that shape their respective journeys. Coppola’s film provides a seamless backdrop for reflection and deep thought.

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