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Somewhere: The Fame Monster is No Match for a Darling Fanning Sister

If you're a fan of Sofia Coppola's slow, quiet, very visual storytelling style, you will love this movie. Somewhere is the unencumbered essence of all her signatures, showing simply the story of a nice man helped by his nice daughter told over a series of meals in expensive hotel rooms, and not much else. It's beautifully done and incredibly poignant in parts, but if you thought Lost in Translation or The Virgin Suicides were indulgent or boring, or you think she just champions the whiny rich, you will hate this. You'd be wrong about what her movies are about, but since a lot of people are wrong about what her movies are about, I thought I'd warn you anyway.

The story centers around Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff), a movie star well into his career, who is stuck in the routine of lazy celebrity complacence. He lives at the Chateau Marmont, arguably the most depressing place in all of Los Angeles, surrounded by people but essentially alone, wandering through parties his entourage throws for him, smiling politely at the blonde twins who make pole dancing house calls for him, and passing out in a drunken stupor while servicing eager groupies. He has everything, but he has nothing. You know the drill.

When his young daughter Cleo (Elle Fanning) comes to stay with him, however, things begin to change. He starts to engage with life again, doting on Cleo and playing with her, but as is customary with these things, it is she who is really taking care of him, cooking him eggs Benedict (the girl is impressive) and inadvertently teaching him that his life doesn't have to be a half-asleep routine of watching bored strippers and doing donuts in $100,000 cars if you have something better and more important to focus on.

And believe me, I know how clich├ęd and corny that story sounds on paper, but there's something so personal about the movie -- and in fact, I'd say its scenes are excessively intimate -- that it almost comes off as refreshing. Yes, it's familiar territory, but the performances from Fanning and Dorff are so natural and believable, and their relationship is built and revealed so adroitly, that it feels like something wholly authentic. There's nothing forced about Somewhere, and the thing is also just so damn beautiful visually I don't know how anyone could walk away not completely in love with it.

Did you see Somewhere? Tell us what you thought of it, then see our guide to what else is coming out in the coming winter months!

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