Tag Archives: somewhere

‘Somewhere’: Trip to Nowhere or Wondrous Fantasy? (Review)

Elle Fanning and Stephen Dorff spend some quality time together. (Focus Features)

‘Somewhere,’ the latest film from Sophia Coppola (‘Lost in Translation’) begins with a series of long, extended shots that seemingly exist only to test the patience of the viewer.

It’s quickly established that Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff) is a movie star leading a lonely, listless existence. He has been in long-term residence at the Chateau Marmont, a famed luxury hotel in Hollywood known for its exclusive clientele and strict policies on privacy. He awakens each day to a phone call from Marge (Amanda Anka), presumably his personal assistant (we never see her in person), informing him of the arrangements that have been made for him  to fulfill his promotional obligations for his latest film. He comes home to his hotel room each evening, often to an unexpected party consisting of friends and strangers invited by his friend Sammy (Chris Pontius), and then spends the night in bed with whatever random stripper, party guest, or fellow hotel habitue happens to fall within his line of sight.

All proceeds in numbing, routine fashion until the weekly arrival of his 11-year-old daughter Cleo (Elle Fanning). Johnny comes fully to life, the two spend a few hours together, and then Johnny drops her at her mother’s house. Clearly, Cleo is the best thing that’s ever happened to Johnny, even if he doesn’t remember that Cleo has been ice skating for three years. With Cleo gone, the spark goes out of Johnny.
Continue reading ‘Somewhere’: Trip to Nowhere or Wondrous Fantasy? (Review)

Weekend in D/FW: ‘Carlos,’ ‘Blue Valentine,’ ‘Somewhere,’ ‘Country Witch’

'Carlos' demands you come to The Texas Theatre. (IFC Films)

Only in movie-land, where we decide the best of the year long before the year itself is over, can we declare that the weekend begins on Thursday morning. But we all must plan ahead to squeeze in as much cinematic goodness as possible. Herewith my top 5 picks:

  1. ‘Carlos.’ Five hours? Made for television? Bah! It’s still one of the year’s best, according to those who know, detailing the famed Carlos The Jackal and his exploits. (Saturday and Sunday, one showing each day, The Texas Theatre)
  2. ‘Blue Valentine.’ Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams as a married couple experiencing problems. At least two long-time married ladies have told me that the movie made them cry. Being a polite single gentleman, I did not inquire further. (Landmark Magnolia) [Review added.]
  3. ‘Somewhere.’ Sophia Coppola’s tale of a rich and famous man who finds that his riches and fame have not made him happy. (Gasp! Really? I never would have guessed.) This is a divisive picture, with some colleagues telling me that it’s the year’s best and others declaring it a snooze-fest. May I suggest that couples see ‘Blue Valentine’ and ‘Somewhere’ as a double feature? (Landmark Magnolia) [Review added.]
  4. ‘Season of the Witch.’ Crazy Nicolas Cage, 14th Century knights, monks, witches, and the Black Plague, from the director of ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ and ‘Swordfish.’ How can you go wrong? I’ll be seeing this at an advance screening tonight and, if I survive, I will post a review at Twitch Film. I survived; review posted: read more. (Practically Every Multiplex in Town)
  5. ‘Terribly Happy.’ In the words of (formerly) our own Steve Norwood: “A great little Danish thriller about a cop who is transferred to a distant, deceptively quiet town, only to find himself caught up in all manner of dark deeds.  Don’t miss this film!” Italics and boldface not added by editor, that’s just the way he rolls. (Limited engagement, The Texas Theatre)
  6. ADDED BECAUSE I FORGOT: ‘The Room.’ The cult sensation will get a boost from director Tommy Wiseau when he visits in person and soaks up the acclaim he so richly deserves. (Friday and Saturday, Midnight only, Landmark Inwood)

Also opening: ‘Country Strong,’ featuring actress Gwyneth Paltrow as a country singer and country singer Tim McGraw as an actor (Wide across the Multiplex)

Limited engagements: ‘Border Bandits,’ documentary on a 1915 raid on the McAllen Ranch (Friday only, The Texas Theatre); ‘Playtime,’ Jacques Tati’s classic comedy (Saturday only, The Texas Theatre).