Tuesday, April 13, 2010

We Can't Wait #9: SOMEWHERE

"We Can't Wait: Summer and Beyond" continues with what is sure to be one of the dreamiest films of the year, in mood if not in content.

Daddy (Dorff) and Daughter (Fanning)

Directed by:
Sofia Coppola
Starring: Stephen Dorff, Elle Fanning and Michelle Monaghan
Synopsis: A decadent actor gets an unexpected visit from his young daughter and begins to reexamine his life.
Brought to you by Focus Features
Release Date: TBA but we're assuming September/October? That's the Coppola time frame.

Nathaniel: We've had several discussions, you and I, about the inherent dreaminess of Sofia Coppola pictures. I'm curious to see how her haziness matches the "hard living" of the actor character in Somewhere. I don't mean hazy pejoratively as in a vague or cloudy minded film but in the contemplative drift her films tend to provoke in the viewer. I've loved all of her features so I'm hoping this is no exception.

I'm intrigued that she's shifting her gaze to a man, despite my love for her 'dreamy girls' milieu whether they're embodied by Kirsten Dunst (twice over sensationally) or Scarlett Johansson (once most successfully). But I'm not so pleased that she's switching cinematographers. Obviously Harris Savides is a genius, but I so enjoyed her collaboration with Lance Acord. He recently lensed her ex-husband's Where the Wild Things Are superbly...

Sofia's previous cinematographer Lance Acord (Lost in Translation,
Marie Antoinette
) and her new one Harris Savides (Birth, Milk, Zodiac)

I'm starting to drift contemplatively so I'll toss it to you with this: even though I'm excited, I can't say I'm really a "fan" of either lead actor. Can you imagine the wrath of Dakota if Elle gets an Oscar nomination first?

JA: If there's somewhere where drifting contemplatively is welcomed, it's in conversation about Miss Sofia's movies. But yeah, the Fanning house is not somewhere to be on nomination morning if such a thing were to come to pass. (But if you do find yourself there, please have an Abigail Breslin mask on hand. Hilarity will ensue and by hilarity I mean large sharp objects and by ensue I mean flung at your face.)

I'd been imagining the focus on the Dorff-Fanning relationship to be something like the one on the Murray-Johannson relationship in Lost in Translation, in that they're both pretty much the focus, but I guess that's just my imaginings having already run off with themselves sensing all the opportunities for long shots of Elle staring off into space in dimly lit rooms of the Chateau Marmont. Prime staring real estate! So I hadn't really thought of Coppola's gaze here being any more male-focused than it was there. I guess after three films with such a strong voice already in place I have trouble imagining Sofia able to resist the urge to drift off with Elle just a little bit.

<--- Elle Fanning attending the premiere of big sis's last hit, The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Either way, whomever the camera's pointed at, Savides brings me no fear! He's proven himself many times over to be a terrific custodian of the elongated space-out. I mean, Elephant, man. Gerry! Doesn't get much spacier than that. And we just saw the wonders he can work with the sun-dappled backyards and side streets of LA in Greenberg.

Can't say I'm a fan of Dorff really either but I do think he's an inspired choice, and I have a feeling he's got something in there to deliver. Anybody that was in an episode of Father Dowling's Mysteries is cool with me.

Nathaniel: And maybe anyone who has ever played a vampire is due for a career resurgence in this new decade?

Dorff on set in Milan

How do I drift so far off topic? Readers? do you go into dreamy trances watching Sofia Coppola's work? Are you eager to go there again?


RJ said...

You didn't mention that the Playboy twins are playing strippers! That alone, I mean ...

Rodrigo the Hated One said...

I just want to see Dorff naked!

NoNo said...

I have to admit I'm not really a fan of Coppola's work. I guess I find her "haziness" as simply not being present, which wouldn't bother me if she didn't try to pass it off as something profound.

I just can't connect with self-involved, helpless characters that are actually not helpless(Charlotte, Marie Antoinette). I keep thinking it must be a class thing, but I generally like characters with some motivation.


@Rodrigo... you'll have to watch Lee Daniel's Shadowboxer for that. I doubt Coppola is going there.

@RJ... i didn't even know that. but "who are the Playboy twins?" he says oblivously

@NoNo... maybe it is a class thing. anyone with a trust fund want to speak up? Are you as disconnected and ennui filled as these characters? ;)

Rodrigo the Hated One said...

Oh I've watch Shadowboxer and can't take that image off my head... But I want him to be naked all the time in any film or TV show or just everywhere!!!!

jimmy said...


Glenn said...

Perhaps my most anticipated of the year! Looove Sofia and her movies. Hope this one's a doozy.

Imagine if Elle AND Dakota got nominated on the SAME DAY. In the SAME CATEGORY! Oh gawd...

Anonymous said...

Obviously its unlikely this scenario would actually occur...but imagine if Elle Fanning and Saoirse Ronan were nominated.....dakota would probably be placed on suicide watch.


jimmy -- i'm trying for tomorrow. i've been swamped.

Marsha Mason said...

This kind of movie looks hard to pull off, and if she manages it I'll officially buy her as a real auteur. It'll be completely driven by her script and ability to direct the actors, even more than Lost In Translation which was pulled along (admirably) by that alien milieu.

At least I bet she manages another great soundtrack!

Dominik said...

Re: OP "Can you imagine the wrath of Dakota if Elle gets an Oscar nomination first?" - I'm counting on it!! *lol* Imagining Dakota's wrath is so funny (though I kinda like her, but I also kind of don't), but the suggestion with the Abigail Breslin mask is almost too much (*lol* again).

Re: Anynomous - even better, and I've also thought about that scenario before.

Re: Sofia Coppola's films - I have to admit that I was totally disappointed by LIT, kind of liked TVS, but not extraordinarily, and haven't seen MA, and don't necessarily plan to. There were only these three, right?

PS: Can't wait for Actress predictions!

Janice said...

@Marsha - I thought LIT was being pulled along by Bill Murray's understated performance (at what point did I come to love Bill Murray as an actor? He was aces with his small bit in The Royal Tennenbaums) but I might have to watch it again to be sure.

But I don't feel compelled to watch it again - like, ok, once was enough, you know? I admired LIT but didn't love it. And, I thought that while only Bill Murray could have given that particular performance, any pretty young thing could have played Scarlett's character. But maybe that's the point? (Or maybe it's just an underwhelming perf?) I definitely see where NoNo is coming from on that.

Deus Ex Machina said...

Elle Fanning has worked John August, David Fincher and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu already AND was supposedly superb in Phoebe in Wonderland. Ok, so Dakota has worked with Spielberg, big deal! Never been a fan of Dakota's ubiquity at the multiplex so my money is on Elle's career. Plus, Elle is much prettier.