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Somewhere- Post Release

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
Blech.
post #2 of 57
I've pretty much heard the same thing, universally. Too bad.
post #3 of 57
Really? I was looking forward to seeing this. What was bad about it? Too saccharin? Too Sophia-y? Are you a fan of her other flicks?
post #4 of 57
As someone who didn't love Lost in Translation, but is a fan of Marie Antoinette, I'm beginning to believe that the subject matter of Sofia Coppola's films thusfar, the malaise of the privileged, works best for me when there's a certain amount of distance between myself and the people on screen. I usually don't care about the class of the characters when I'm watching a film, but there's something about her specific brand of emotional flatness that rubs me the wrong way.

Everything I've heard about Somewhere suggests that it's indulgent in the worst way.
post #5 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny View Post
As someone who didn't love Lost in Translation, but is a fan of Marie Antoinette, I'm beginning to believe that the subject matter of Sofia Coppola's films thusfar, the malaise of the privileged, works best for me when there's a certain amount of distance between myself and the people on screen. I usually don't care about the class of the characters when I'm watching a film, but there's something about her specific brand of emotional flatness that rubs me the wrong way.

Everything I've heard about Somewhere suggests that it's indulgent in the worst way.
Here we go. Stock complaints about Coppola that make no sense and reek of strong misogyny.

"The malaise of the privileged" could be a cynical summation of so many male filmmakers through the last one hundred plus years of film, yet somehow we're using it for Coppola permanently. Very interesting, somewhat disturbing.

Also, I've heard that this is good from some of the toughest critics around.

EDIT: Also, what a shit way to start a thread. Fucking use your words or go play with the playground. Starting a thread to talk about a movie and then writing "blech?" What's the fucking point?
post #6 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker View Post
Stock complaints about Coppola that make no sense and reek of strong misogyny.

"The malaise of the privileged" could be a cynical summation of so many male filmmakers through the last one hundred plus years of film, yet somehow we're using it for Coppola permanently. Very interesting, somewhat disturbing.
It's more that any fan of films knows her background, and the rich people problem movies don't just come across as one note, but self-obsession.

Also, I'd like to know the names of these so many filmmakers who hit this particular button so consistently. I can't really think of any. I'd say Woody Allen comes close, considering how nearly all his films are about the upper-class, but he's much more interested in relationships and romance than malaise.
post #7 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny View Post
As someone who didn't love Lost in Translation, but is a fan of Marie Antoinette, I'm beginning to believe that the subject matter of Sofia Coppola's films thusfar, the malaise of the privileged, works best for me when there's a certain amount of distance between myself and the people on screen. I usually don't care about the class of the characters when I'm watching a film, but there's something about her specific brand of emotional flatness that rubs me the wrong way.

Everything I've heard about Somewhere suggests that it's indulgent in the worst way.
Heh. That's what I meant by Sophia-y. I can understand how some people could feel that way about her work, but for me her films are all super emotional. I think the distancing her way of expressing the loneliness and abandonment many of her characters feel. There seems to be an underlying current of sadness in all her films. But there's always hope, too. I don't know. I dig her work. I think her only fault is she tends to make the same movie over and over. But as Parker pointed out, many directors do so why pick on her. She has a niche, and she does it well.
post #8 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Ripoll View Post
It's more that any fan of films knows her background, and the rich people problem movies don't just come across as one note, but self-obsession.

Also, I'd like to know the names of these so many filmmakers who hit this particular button so consistently. I can't really think of any. I'd say Woody Allen comes close, considering how nearly all his films are about the upper-class, but he's much more interested in relationships and romance than malaise.
Tim Burton and his daddy issues?
post #9 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diva View Post
Tim Burton and his daddy issues?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker
"The malaise of the privileged" could be a cynical summation of so many male filmmakers through the last one hundred plus years of film, yet somehow we're using it for Coppola permanently.
Tons of directors go back to the same thematic wells again and again, especially the great ones, but, unless I'm reading this wrong, Parker was saying that many male directors also hit "malaise of the privileged" theme, specifically.

Also, like Sofia and her thing, Tim Burton gets called out for his daddy issues all the time. Same with Spielberg and his daddy issues, Hitchcock and his mommy issues, etc. I don't see this being a misogyny thing.
post #10 of 57
Thread Starter 
Don't question my methods Parker!

I kid. I planned on writing more, I just didn't have the energy at the moment. And yet, I felt compelled to express my disappointment.

I've read the great reviews too, or at least caught wind of the buzz, and was really looking forward to this. I'm not head over heels about Lost in Translation, but I really liked it, and I really liked Marie Antoinette as well.

Somewhere is not a bad film by any means. The music is great, it's well shot and well acted. Steven Dorff is very solid in the lead. But even though the individual parts are good, and the idea itself was an interesting one, the film totally fell flat in every way for me. I am actually shocked, SHOCKED, at the critical acclaim. I don't know what film those critics saw, but the film I saw was boring (albeit deliberately), devoid of emotional heft, and so fucking on the nose in every single scene I wanted to puke. Seriously, not a scene goes by where the recurring themes of identity and malaise aren't beat over your head with some overtly symbolic act, shot, piece of dialogue, editing. The film, devoid of a means to connect with audiences emotionally, is also devoid of subtlety.

Now, I'm willing to give Coppola the benefit of the doubt that some of the shit that goes down in the movie is the kind of stuff that actually happens to people she knows. She would know better than me. But, for whatever reason, and at the moment I'm not quite able to put my finger on it, none of it felt believable. I didn't believe that Dorff wouldn't know his kid had been ice skating for years, or that his ex-wife would announce in a five second conversation (with no response by Dorff) that she was "leaving" for a while. The list goes on.

I'm curious what ya'll will have to say.
post #11 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Ripoll View Post
Tons of directors go back to the same thematic wells again and again, especially the great ones, but, unless I'm reading this wrong, Parker was saying that many male directors also hit "malaise of the privileged" theme, specifically.

Also, like Sofia and her thing, Tim Burton gets called out for his daddy issues all the time. Same with Spielberg and his daddy issues, Hitchcock and his mommy issues, etc. I don't see this being a misogyny thing.
Gotcha. I misread Parker's post that he was specifically talking about this particular theme being used by male directors all the time.
post #12 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Ripoll View Post
It's more that any fan of films knows her background, and the rich people problem movies don't just come across as one note, but self-obsession.

Also, I'd like to know the names of these so many filmmakers who hit this particular button so consistently. I can't really think of any. I'd say Woody Allen comes close, considering how nearly all his films are about the upper-class, but he's much more interested in relationships and romance than malaise.
I would argue that Allen is very much interested in the malaise of the rich, and that romance and relationships is part of the former (although not always, more of his cynical works) although malaise is probably not the best word.

Then again, I don't think malaise is a good word to describe Coppola's films. As sad as the ending of Marie Antoinette is, there's plenty of joy on the screen as well. Same with Lost in Translation and even The Virgin Suicides. Coppola is more interested in tone and form then story; therefore her characters spend time being seen in an emotional way then telling us how they feel. She's not that different then Wes Anderson in that sense, another rich film maker (connected to the same family, even) who focuses on "malaise" in characters, many of whom happen to be rich. And yet Anderson is often a golden child in film circles and people to talk about the "malaise" of his characters at great lengths. They focus on the style of his movies instead. Coppola has a particular style, but all anyone can hit her with is malaise. I just find that curious.
post #13 of 57
To support Parker's thesis, I Googled "disaffected rich" and there were dozens of links related to Sophia Coppola and not a whole lot directed at other directors. I then looked up "disaffected youth" and a few male directors popped up (Larry Lark with Kids and Bully, for example), but it certainly seems she gets tagged with the label far more than others.

Wes Anderson is a great example of someone who has numerous movies about disaffected rich. While he doesn't get called out as blatantly as Sophia, I know plenty of people who don't like his movies because he hits the same thematic beats over and over or they can't connect with his characters because, according to them, he puts style over substance. He does seem to get cool cred in geek circles though.
post #14 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Ripoll View Post
It's more that any fan of films knows her background, and the rich people problem movies don't just come across as one note, but self-obsession.

Also, I'd like to know the names of these so many filmmakers who hit this particular button so consistently. I can't really think of any. I'd say Woody Allen comes close, considering how nearly all his films are about the upper-class, but he's much more interested in relationships and romance than malaise.
As already noted, there's Wes Anderson. Then there's also Whit Stillman (granted he hasn't done anything in a while) and Noah Baumbach.
post #15 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker View Post
Here we go. Stock complaints about Coppola that make no sense and reek of strong misogyny.

"The malaise of the privileged" could be a cynical summation of so many male filmmakers through the last one hundred plus years of film, yet somehow we're using it for Coppola permanently. Very interesting, somewhat disturbing.

Also, I've heard that this is good from some of the toughest critics around.

EDIT: Also, what a shit way to start a thread. Fucking use your words or go play with the playground. Starting a thread to talk about a movie and then writing "blech?" What's the fucking point?
Give me a fucking break. Misogyny? How in the fuck can you possibly pull any of that out of what I said? I won't explain or defend myself at all because there is literally nothing in what I said that could be taken that way unless you're completely projecting based on some other bullshit conversation you had.
post #16 of 57
Yeah I don't get the accusation of Misogyny at all, why because someone dared criticised her? I will say there have been complaints levelled at Coppola that I'm sure are purely because of her sex. Just as there has been with Diablo Cody. I remember a lot of chatter being that all the best parts of Lost In Translation were because of Murray's adlibbing because Coppola's script was shit. It's nonsense of course, but for whatever reason people didn't want to credit her with the success of that film.

The only film maker that I can think tackles some of the same issues that Coppola does is Wes Anderson, as mentioned in this thread, but it's idiotic to suggest that people wouldn't criticise him if he didn't turn in good work (As people have done). At least Anderson weaves his themes in throughout his narratives, Coppola is just interested in putting them all up front. It worked with 'Lost in Translation', but it doesn't work with 'Somewhere' and it's as simple as that. Pointing that out doesn't suggest someone has an ulterior motive.
post #17 of 57
The fact that it took ten posts for anyone who's actually seen the movie to discuss what they find wrong with it doesn't strike anyone as a problem?

I'm not saying that anyone in particular is being misogynistic, apologies if anyone thought otherwise. My point is that the criticism Coppola gets stems from a culture of greater misogyny.

When I first brought up this whole idea of the 'malaise of the rich' argument in defense of Coppola, Patrick mentioned that it's because we all knew how she grew up. And yet nobody talks about her fathers winery, and seems to root for him now that he's on the comeback trail and is making smaller, quirkier movies again and not shit like Jack.

Sure, that might be because he's made some of the greatest movies in the past fifty years. But it's also a tremendous feet to step out of the shadow of a figure like that and distinguish yourself as a unique artist. For comparison, in my opinion, Roman Coppola hasn't managed to do that. Sofia has, but she often seems to get treated with a lot more scrutiny then anyone else.

And Anderson seems to get a pass still, despite the fact that of his five movies, only three of them are all together successful. But James claims he does "good work" and only compliments one of Coppola's movies.

It could be that he's only a fan of Lost in Translation. That seems to be the only one that many people seem to be a fan of. I just don't get it. I think of her as a real artists with a unique vision and voice. And for that reason, I get annoyed when I go into a thread and see the word "bleah" and the same, stale mention of "the malaise of the rich," which as I've noted already, I find a lazy, untrue criticism.

So no, you're not being misogynistic if you don't like her films. But you should see the films before you actually talk shit about her movies. And if all you can think of to complain about them is that "malaise of the rich" shit, look a little harder or come better prepared, because I'm not gonna buy it.

Sorry if I pissed anyone off. I won't post in here again until after I see the movie. I suggest others who haven't done it do the same. Or start a Sofia Coppola thread in another section.
post #18 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker View Post
I won't post in here again until after I see the movie. I suggest others who haven't done it do the same. Or start a Sofia Coppola thread in another section.
I was going to suggest this 10 posts back, but since I didn't and now am a little pissed, I just want to say that my reaction has fuck all to do with her being a woman. That's some patronizing bullshit right there.
post #19 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuddL View Post
I was going to suggest this 10 posts back, but since I didn't and now am a little pissed, I just want to say that my reaction has fuck all to do with her being a woman. That's some patronizing bullshit right there.
There's no reason to get pissed. Jesus. You said yourself that you regretted starting the thread the way you did and that's fine with me. Your second post stated clearly why you didn't like the film, and to be honest it's probably the only worthwhile post in this entire thread, because it's the only one that offers any kind of critical reaction to the film. I am curious about your initial reaction, even when you say it's "not bad," which again leads me to wonder why the thread started the way it did. But whatever, we're running in circles at this point.

The point isn't that you hate woman, I don't think that's the case. I just wonder if we live in a culture where we're tougher on women directors, especially when they don't "direct like a man" (as Bigelow kinda does). Please don't get offended. I found the comment about Coppola's movies concerning "the malaise of the rich" an offshoot of a misogynistic culture, not any one person in this thread.
post #20 of 57
Okay, at what point did I say I disliked her films? Did I not actually call myself a fan of Marie Antoinette (I own it and Lost in Translation)? Did I completely dismiss Somewhere, or just cast some suspicion based on her prior work, the elements of said work that I have a certain impression of, and fresh criticisms of her current piece?

If my "malaise of the privileged" line seems to come off as some banal, damning criticism, well that's purely on you, because it takes work, aided by baggage, to read some over-arching aggression into how it was used in that particular sentence. You're sorry that I thought you were calling me a misogynist? Well then don't quote me for a slam in which you align my opinion with those who fucking hate women.
post #21 of 57
Johnny, I do apologize because in your case I was shooting the messenger. You didn't come up with that lazy criticism of Coppola, but you had it in your post. I find the criticism misogynistic, not you. Hope that clears it up.

Let's come to a peaceful conclusion to this "argument" and agree to both stay out of the thread until we've seen the movie. That way we can come back and actually discuss the film in an informed way. The discussion we're having would be fine for a Coppola thread, but not a thread about a movie we haven't seen yet. Agreed?

Clearly you don't hate woman, so there's no reason to get upset. Right?
post #22 of 57
Thread Starter 
To clarify, I started out by saying "it's not a bad film" because it's hard for me to call it terrible when much of it is well crafted enough. There's good music and shot composition, good acting and some interesting ideas somewhere in there. If it were Coppola's first film, I'd say she has some talent, and it'd be interesting to see what she does next, but that she has a long way to go to greatness. This just felt like such a regression to me. I was incredibly bored, and even if that was part of the point I was equally uninvested emotionally, and annoyed by her insultingly overt symbolism.
post #23 of 57
Terrible movie. Just terrible and pointless.
post #24 of 57
And on the other end of the spectrum from Tati, we have: http://filmfreakcentral.net/screenreviews/somewhere.htm

Disclaimer: I haven't seen the film (yet). I'm just interested in the wildly divergent reactions. I love it when art is this polarizing.
post #25 of 57
Don't get me wrong, there's good in there in the craftsmanship.
It's well shot, has some interesting images and scenes and the acting is pretty good.

It's the story that's completely unnecessary, boring and terrible.
post #26 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyeball Kid View Post
And on the other end of the spectrum from Tati, we have: http://filmfreakcentral.net/screenreviews/somewhere.htm

Disclaimer: I haven't seen the film (yet). I'm just interested in the wildly divergent reactions. I love it when art is this polarizing.
I'm with Tati. The film is a failure. My only answer is that critics must mistake boredom for depth.
post #27 of 57
A.O. Scott at the NYTimes flipped for the damn thing. I'm a little disappointed to hear that Chewers didn't like it. Her stuff leaves me cold, but I always look forward to her films, hoping that she'll hit this one out of the park (she certainly has the pedigree).
post #28 of 57
I think in this ADD world, a lot of people can't appreciate quiet moments. Coppola's work is largely about those moments, not big life events. In fact, its often those smaller moments that end up being more transformative to her characters' lives than what we'd typically expect in films. I appreciate that about her work and am grateful that it has a place in cinema. Eyeball's link makes me super excited because it sounds like this film is all about those smaller moments.

LoT and MA are great films, but The Virgin Suicides is still my favorite Coppola film which is very much not about the malaise of the rich (though she does stick to the woes of disaffected youth).
post #29 of 57
Besides Sofia Coppola and Wes Anderson making movies about rich people, they are completely different. In tone and approach. Anderson's movies are usually about people who have gone through heartbreak, trauma and are comically trying to lift themselves and the people around them, out of their funk and wallowing. The films are usually celebratory.

Coppola's movies (Antoinette, Translation especially) are more studies of the wallowing and dissatisfaction- much less "fictioned" than Anderson. They contain a lot of natural dialogue and I guess "realism." But where her movies are less dramatic than Anderson's I think her style is original and very effective.

People are turned off by her because her films wallow so much but I think her movies seem so casual and effortless- which is tough to pull off.

Can't wait to see Somewhere.
post #30 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diva View Post
I think in this ADD world, a lot of people can't appreciate quiet moments.
yuck, can we not suggest that others have attention span issues before we've seen the movie (or even read through their posts in the thread)?

I own every Malick film. I own two of Sofia's. Quiet moments are essential when there is substance and emotion behind them that connect. After an interesting opening scene the film lost me pretty quickly on that level because all it did was overtly rehash the same thematic ground of that opening scene over and over again. It was insulting and boring, and the last shot was student-film grade.
post #31 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Dexter View Post
Besides Sofia Coppola and Wes Anderson making movies about rich people, they are completely different. In tone and approach. Anderson's movies are usually about people who have gone through heartbreak, trauma and are comically trying to lift themselves and the people around them, out of their funk and wallowing. The films are usually celebratory.

Coppola's movies (Antoinette, Translation especially) are more studies of the wallowing and dissatisfaction- much less "fictioned" than Anderson. They contain a lot of natural dialogue and I guess "realism." But where her movies are less dramatic than Anderson's I think her style is original and very effective.

People are turned off by her because her films wallow so much but I think her movies seem so casual and effortless- which is tough to pull off.

Can't wait to see Somewhere.
Interesting thought. It's almost like Coppola's films are the prequels to Anderson's.
But for the record, I think they're wildly different filmmakers.
post #32 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuddL View Post
yuck, can we not suggest that others have attention span issues before we've seen the movie (or even read through their posts in the thread)?

I own every Malick film. I own two of Sofia's. Quiet moments are essential when there is substance and emotion behind them that connect. After an interesting opening scene the film lost me pretty quickly on that level because all it did was overtly rehash the same thematic ground of that opening scene over and over again. It was insulting and boring, and the last shot was student-film grade.
"A lot of people" doesn't mean "everybody". I read your posts above and understand where you're coming from. If you felt the need to defend yourself, that's on you. My comment was generalized toward the broad movie-going public.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan C.B. View Post
Interesting thought. It's almost like Coppola's films are the prequels to Anderson's.
That's an interesting thought.
post #33 of 57
Thread Starter 
I only thought the need to defend myself because nowhere previously was the opinion of the general public invoked. It was just kind of a non-sequitor then.
post #34 of 57
What? The whole discussion, fueled by Parker's post, is about public perception of Coppola's movies.
post #35 of 57
Thread Starter 
Actually Parker had agreed to end that discussion:

"Let's come to a peaceful conclusion to this "argument" and agree to both stay out of the thread until we've seen the movie. That way we can come back and actually discuss the film in an informed way. The discussion we're having would be fine for a Coppola thread, but not a thread about a movie we haven't seen yet. Agreed?"

... and frankly, it was never about general public perception, how could it be when the general public doesn't care about independent films?

But whatever, this is stupid.
post #36 of 57
Slate hates her too! Or loves her. They can't decide.
post #37 of 57
I don't hate her! I actually love Lost In Translation. I hated THIS movie.
post #38 of 57
For the record, the last new film I saw in 2010. Was kinda skeptical until the strippers showed up in Dorff's room. First routine was scored to Foo Fighters' "My Hero," which was awesome in its on-the-nose irony; the second to Amerie's "1 Thing" (new to me - killer track). Kinda blew me away. "Love Theme from KISS" played in the background of one party scene. Had me confused for a few minutes as to whether I was hearing Thin Lizzy, Wishbone Ash, or Mick Ronson. Coppola has a good ear, if nothing else (although Phoenix are no My Bloody Valentine).
This film fulfilled any youthful fantasies I might have had re. living at the Chateau Marmont. The ending left me confused like any good Euro-art-house flick ought to. Fanning was great. Anyone who hasn't experienced it should shut the fuck up.

ETA: Unless they have a cogent explanation of the ending. That would be welcome
post #39 of 57
I'm pitching a treatment to Sophia about a man who is so rich that he lives in his own space station, and as a result feels profoundly alienated from the world.
post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finnias View Post
ETA: Unless they have a cogent explanation of the ending. That would be welcome
The article linked above has a pretty good exclamation for it.
post #41 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker View Post
The article linked above has a pretty good exclamation for it.
Huh? Wanna exclame that to me?
post #42 of 57
Thread Starter 
He's talking about the Slate article, which interprets it as him packing up his shit and leaving the Hollywood scene behind. It's definitely something like that, I just found it obnoxiously on the nose.
post #43 of 57
My point was that the typo was funny. But OK. Still not was I was looking for in terms of anal-ysis. Fake-out ending doesn't negate that I found the film genuinely moving. I'm hungry for eggs benedict right now…

ETA: I also found the ending to be "obnoxiously on the nose." What preceded it seemed somewhat real, so I just hoped it was leading somewhere… (oh, that's the joke)
post #44 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finnias View Post
ETA: I also found the ending to be "obnoxiously on the nose." What preceded it seemed somewhat real, so I just hoped it was leading somewhere… (oh, that's the joke)
How else could it end? He ends up back with his wife? That would have been idiotic. Checking out of the hotel and getting the hell out of there is the best thing that could have happened to that character. I don't see how it's "on the nose" exactly. It's terrifically open ended.

I liked it quite a bit. It's not as good as her last two films, but it cements Coppola as a real talent. She hasn't made a bad film yet.

Dorff and Fanning are both terrific and this feels like Coppola's most realistic movie. It's not forced or heavy handed and Dorff's progression makes perfect sense. He's seeing his daughter become a woman and that's conflicting with his consumption of woman (it's no accident that two sets of scenes with his daughter happen right after he's had sex, and Fanning's ice skating bit has echoes of the second stripper twins scenes...Dorff even has the same expression in both, claps at the end of both of them).

So where does that leave Dorff at the end? I'm not sure, I'm not even sure he's sure, but at least he checked out of that hotel and at least he didn't fuck a groupie. He's clearly moving on. So despite the fact that the movie doesn't have a typical story structure, it doesn't have a typical character arc. A triumphant one, I'd say.
post #45 of 57

Re. "on the nose"

I dislike that phrase and am embarrassed I used it so flippantly, especially since I was quoting someone I don't even completely agree with. Lazy posting on my part.

What I more properly meant was that the ending seemed "predictably vague." Kind of like UP IN THE AIR, as if the story had no real conclusion and the director said, "Let's just stop here." Leaving us with someone standing at the crossroads of their life, but not showing which direction they take.

But in a tale filled with small occurrences, this was a pretty major step for the character. Seeing as how Dorff opens the movie driving in circles and closes it walking in a straight line, that's definite progress.

I felt Coppola shut it down without showing us where Dorff ended up or even what his new life-plan was, scoring it with a loud burst of feel-good acoustic guitar strumming, implying we should be happy about his decision. But i was actually dreading that he was suicidal, heading towards the mountains to do himself in, or simply vanish, into the wild-style. With no way to tell what his intentions were, I was more confused by the final moments than uplifted. While I think the end means to ask, "What next?" I was going like,"What now?"

Again, I enjoyed the film overall, in a "What I did on my summer vacation" kind of way.

post #46 of 57

What am I supposed to feel when I watch this movie? Certainly not excited, it's a purposefully (and, I must say, punishingly) slow-paced movie. It's only 97 minutes and feels twice as long as it needs to be.

 

I'm not supposed to marvel at the camerawork, which is fine but nothing to shout about. Turns out Sophia Coppola can frame a shot.

 

Am I supposed to feel bad for Elle Fanning? She's a well-off and well-adjusted kid who has a father who's distant but obviously loves her and a mother who's not so reliable. She'll be fine.

 

Should I feel sorry for Stephen Dorff? He has no passion or interest in what he does for a living. He's depressed. He's obscenely wealthy. Two of these traits describe to a large percentage of people in this world. One of them does not.

 

Why does he feel this way? Because he has no connections to people? Why is that? Sophia doesn't seem to have an answer. She doesn't seem interested in the question. 

 

Am I supposed to view this as a larger allegory? That all these characters are stand-ins for...I don't know. What? I'm not sure if anything is being said.

 

Should I be applauding Sophia Coppola for making a boring movie about a man who is bored? Some emotions are hard to get an audience to feel. Boredom isn't one of them.

 

Should I appreciate the obvious visual metaphor that opens the film? The nonsensical one that ends it?

 

There are two things about this movie that are worthwhile. Coppola's attention to details and Chris Pontius' rapport with Elle Fanning. Couldn't she have harnessed these two things in a better movie?

post #47 of 57

Have you ever felt like you're totally stuck in life and have no idea what to do next? Because I have. And that's what this movie feels like. I don't know, it rings true to me. And I wasn't bored once.

post #48 of 57

I get that feeling. I have that feeling. She nailed that feeling. I don't think it's a hard feeling to nail. And I don't think she did much else.

post #49 of 57

What other movies have you seen that make you feel that way? Not a disagreement, I'm just honestly curious. And as for "she didn't do much else," I don't quite agree. There are other themes going on; ones that have to do with everything to modern LA family lifestyle, woman as "performers" in society and the emptiness of fame.

post #50 of 57

Say Anything captured that feeling. Hell, fucking Reality Bites captured that feeling. Anyone who's been depressed or has been 18 has looked at life and wondered "Is this it?" There are mountains of fiction about existential crisis. And the idea that success doesn't leave you fulfilled is well-worn territory. Sam Mendes has made a career out of it. I obviously can't deny how you felt about it, but there's little here that felt at all new or interesting to me. 

 

Except for her attention to detail, which I liked a lot. Everything from Cleo doing sudoku on the hotel lobby couch to the way they wait for their Guitar Hero scores to appear is very real and interesting to me. It's certainly not enough to carry the film, but I appreciated it.

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