Another big question mark film of the 2010 film season is Sofia Coppola's Somewhere (trailer discussion). It's her follow up to the poorly received but delicious Marie Antoinette (2006). She's back to the present day for this film about an actor (Stephen Dorff) visited by his daughter (Elle Fanning) at the Chateau Marmont.
The reviews have been mixed but more than most filmmakers I trust not any reviews about her work. Her girlish dreamy haze tends to cloud judgment. But here are a few...
- In Contention "thoroughly beguiling"
- Evening Standard "no big dramatic moments, just a series of sequences"
- Obsessed With Film "ever bit as poignant as Lost in Translation, if not as fresh."
- Thompson on Hollywood "should play well for the young smart-house set."
Italian actress Laura Chiatta (The Family Friend) is also in Somewhere's cast which is why I included her here. Mostly because her lipstick is transporting me back to the early Aughts. It's all I can see. Is she wearing anything else?
I don't expect that the film will win Oscar traction (low key efforts rarely do and a late December release for a contemplative film won't help. Coppola whispers and Oscar hears only Oscar-bait shouting in the holiday months) but I'm still so excited to see it. Coppola is three for three in my book. Will this make four for four?
On to other films...
International Divas: Yeoh, Abbas, Kikuchi, Campbell
Michelle Yeoh, in town for Reign of Assassins, is a goddess. You knew that already. Her latest star vehicle was bought earlier this summer by the Weinstein Co which probably means we'll never see it (you know how they do). But since we can't look at the film, let's look at those shoes. The shoes... Gah! They're probably worth more than most people make in a year and she can probably kill those multiple assassins tailing her with them. Incidentally, Yeoh is also an assassin in the movie. What is with the cinema's complete fixation on assassins as protagonists? It's easy to understand them as villains but so many of them are actually the heroes of their movies. I shutter to think what this means about the human condition.
- Hollywood Reporter "lush visual treat... with crossover potential."
- Film Biz Asia "a rich gallery of characters
- Screen Daily "absorbing and entertaining."
- MovieWeb (the trailer... note: you have to watch an ad first)
- Obsessed with Film "cravenly seeking approval"
- Telegraph "It’s terribly earnest, and characters often speak dialogue that resembles a history lecture"
- Thompson on Hollywood "Pinto, while gorgeous is not an expressive actress."
Norwegian Wood, another prestige adaptation of a novel, also premiered. Rinko Kikuchi, the most famous member of its ensemble cast (credit that Babel Oscar nomination), hit the red carpet. I don't understand this look at all. But it definitely reminds me of a expensive monochromatic version of that awful ruffled confusing short skirted thing Peach turned out on Project Runway two nights back. Oh, Peach... wwyt?
- Variety "lovely but listless"
- Indie Movies Online "the story is not quite as peerlessly handled by Tran as the aesthetic presentation"
Action auteur John Woo (pictured left) received the Golden Lion for lifetime achievement and was also there as co-director of Reign of Assassins (with Chao-Bin Su, who also wrote the film).
Quentin Tarantino is the head of the Venice jury so we'll see what his jury does with their cups and statues next weekend. Stay tuned.