Fuck story. The world’s full of stories. Who needs another one, right? Sofia Coppola decides instead to make a melting still, a not dry nature morte portrait of an LA actor (Stephen Dorff) surprised by success, who gets everything he wants and more – not to the point of self destruction so much as just difficulty swallowing. Of course with nothing more to wish for, what he loses is himself.
Fortunately amid all the accumulated ephemera, he overlooks that he has a daughter (Elle Fanning), who turns up to redeem him, because a Dad is something to be. Contrary to expectation, she does not lead him through a moral trial by fire but spends a few weeks having a nice time with him and sharing the perks. It’s when she leaves again that he quietly implodes, or at least feels a tinge of emotion he’s not been briefed on how to deal with.
What annoys everyone is that the film closes on something that looks like its trying to be a story ending afterall but with the blanks even less filled in than the choose your own adventure ending of Lost In Translation. And you don’t really know Somewhere wasn’t trying to be a story until the credits roll (surprise!), and all that time you were waiting for a punchline. A day later I felt this film was afterall worthwhile, but its one of those formal experiments that probably doesn’t bear repeating, and you wish you’d known beforehand you were taking part in it.