|Elle Fanning and Steven Dorff in Sofia Coppola's Somewhere|
Sofia Coppola's Somewhere is an antidote to reality TV, a slim, sweet, posh curio of a movie about a dazed and confused movie star who lives at the Chateau Marmont. Steven Dorff is the actor, and he glides through Coppola's beautiful atmosphere like a lost dolphin. He can hold the camera's attention without desiring to be filmed: that seems to be the essence of anti-reality. Elle Fanning, as well, effortlessly embodies his daughter, an eleven-year-old girl on the verge of both tears and laughter as she makes Eggs Benedict for her movie-star dad and then sits at the breakfast table on her laptop typing in the stuff she'll need to take to summer camp. Ease and gravity merge together in Coppola's universe. She has turned out to be a great movie-maker, lingering on scenes that most directors don't even consider filming, and through that process of paying attention delivers intimacy instead of phony drama, beautiful moments instead of personality clashes.
There are moments, in fact, in Somewhere that have the kindness and sweep of dreams you want to go to sleep to re-enter, as if you are channeling lives you'd never have access to. The pleasure comes from the smallest details, the softest voices. Coppola is a Beverly Hills Vermeer, stylishly creating vignettes that seem frozen and yet incredibly alive at the same time. Somewhere is a lovely experience, and a relief from reality overload.