Sofia Coppola's 'Somewhere': Assessing the movie trailer
The trailer for "Somewhere," the upcoming film from Sofia Coppola, was released yesterday and looks quite promising. Fans of Coppola will be pleased to see all that lush, urban imagery, as well as what appears to be a return to the sort of meandering, contemporary character study the writer-director navigated so elegantly in "Lost in Translation."
Speaking of "Lost in Translation," it's impossible to ignore one thing about this trailer: the fact that "Somewhere" looks an awful lot like "Lost in Translation."
Let's have a look at the clip, take a brief break for some Suntory time, then count all the connections between the latest Coppola effort and the previous, Academy-Award-winning one that happened to contain the best karaoke scene ever.
1. Focus Features: Both films are being distributed by the same studio. Minor point, but I'm just getting rolling.
2. The disaffected actor: Both films feature actors disinterested in their Hollywood careers. In "Lost in Translation," Bill Murray was the older, washed-up veteran of the movie biz, while in "Somewhere," Stephen Dorff plays a younger, still-working version of the pre-established type.
3. The hotel fixation: Much of the action in "Lost in Translation" centered, for obvious reasons, in the Tokyo hotel where Murray's and Johansson's characters were staying. In "Somewhere," at least some of the action will unfold in the chi-chi Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles.
4. The father-daughter relationship: In "LiT," there was definitely a parent-child vibe between Murray and Scarlett Johansson, although there was clearly a romantic, sexual energy between them as well. In "Somewhere," the daddy-daughter thing is more literal than metaphorical; Elle Fanning plays the teenage daughter who re-enters her father's life and, obviously, the sexual tension thing is not a factor.
5. Mattress time: If the trailer for "Somewhere" is any indication, the movie will, like "Translation," give plenty of screen time to people lounging around in bed.
6. City as a prominent backdrop: Judging from the trailer, L.A. will get the same kind of love in "Somewhere" that Tokyo did in "Lost in Translation."
7. Karaoke redux: After "LiT," Coppola couldn't do a karaoke scene again. That would just seem ridiculous. So, as the trailer indicates, we'll get a Guitar Hero moment instead.
8. Game show = awards show: Remember when Bill Murray sheepishly played along with the shenanigans on that Japanese game show? Apparently Dorff will play along with the shenanigans during what appears to be an Italian awards ceremony, while grinning sheepishly at his daughter.
9. Trendy, mood-setting music: Coppola has always put excellent indie and alternative (and often vaguely melancholy) music in her films, not just "LiT." She repeats that trend here, shining the spotlight on the work of Phoenix, a band that happens to be fronted by Thomas Mars, her longtime boyfriend and the father of Coppola's two children.
10. Titles that speak to a sense of dislocation: "Somewhere": it sounds just as vague as the term "Lost in Translation," doesn't it? Although, if this new film is truly a companion piece, I guess knowing that you're fixed "somewhere" -- even if you're not sure where -- indicates some progress beyond being totally lost.
Wow, that's 10 already and I didn't even touch on the Randy Women Visiting Aloof Men in Hotel Rooms phenomenon (see Tokyo prostitute in "LiT" and pole dancers in "Somewhere"). Anyhoo, "Somewhere" is slated for release in December, just in time for Oscar season. (Hey, remember that other Sofia Coppola movie that was a big deal during a previous awards season...?) Are you, like me, eager to see it? Or would you rather fire up some Bill Murray and give it a pass?
| June 15, 2010; 10:54 AM ET
Categories: Awards Season, Movies, Pop Culture | Tags: Movie Trailers, Movies
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