We know that Sofia Coppola is talented--she already won an Oscar for writing Lost in Translation for chrissakes--but her identity as a filmmaker is still emerging. She has style up the wazoo, on ample display in Marie Antoinette, but what is she capable of? This question is fueling the intense curiosity around her fourth film, Somewhere. (This poster emerged on the internet last week.)
Coppola talked about her aesthetic when I interviewed her in the lobby of the Chateau Marmont back in 2003 for Filmmaker Magazine's Lost in Translation cover story. She said that she admires the way director Bob Fosse reveals his personal life in All That Jazz: "I enjoy movies when they’re sincere, from personal experience. Fosse got away with his girlfriend playing his girlfriend. It’s not an all-romanticized idea of himself. It’s honest." And although Antonioni’s L’Avventura “has no plot, it isn’t boring. I like taking your time meandering with the music. There’s so much that isn’t said in a look. I like observing things. I’m not interested in a lot of dialogue."
The trailer is on the jump.
Somewhere returns the 38-year-old director to the high-end Hollywood milieu she knows so well: Stephen Dorff plays a studly actor lost in the dissolute high life who gets a visit at the Marmont from his 11-year-old daughter (Elle Fanning). For the first time, Harris Savides (Milk) is shooting for Coppola, in L.A. and Italy; original music is by Phoenix, the French band headed by Coppola's boyfriend Thomas Mars, who has contributed to all her soundtracks. Michelle Monaghan and Jackass star Chris Pontius also star, with reported drop-bys from Benicio del Toro, Playboy bunnies Karissa and Kristina Shannon and indie band Rooney.
Somewhere will debut at the Venice Film Festival in September (the official announcement will be in July); sometime before that (judging from this photo taken in New York in May, quite soon), Coppola will give birth to her second child with Mars. Focus Features plans to release Somewhere at the end of December, at the height of awards season. UPDATE: According to someone who has seen the film, it's a small, quiet story that yields many rewards, and Fanning and Dorff are both well-cast. Here's pere Coppola on his filmmaking family.
Here's the trailer:
[Photo of Dorff by Andrew Durham, Coppola and Mars photo courtesy of Pacific Coast News]