Somewhere ★★★★½

I wrote off Somewhere a few years ago, when I fell in love with Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides and The Bling Ring, because I watched the first 10 minutes of it and though, fuck, is that it? It starts with a fancy car going round and round and round, and you wouldn't be wrong if you called that a metaphor for the film. I was annoyed by this unsubtle and dull symbolism, back then.

I watched Somewhere in full last night, for the first time. I've tried a few times since that first attempt, and I never managed to make it past the 15 minute mark. I marked myself as a fan of "Sofia Coppola's movies about teenage girls," (whatever that means), and decided it just wasn't for me. I watched Somewhere last night and cried, softly during the last half an hour or so of the film. And then I listened to "I'll try anything once" on repeat and cried harder and harder.

I don't think that Somewhere is perfect, nor do I think it'll ever mean as much to me as The Virgin Suicides, but I was wrong to write it off. It's beautiful, built on echoes of empty moments: it searches for meaning, somewhere within its endless frames. It's a short film, but it feels long and heavy with disappointment and disconnection and loneliness. The relationship between Johnny and his daughter here is so thoughtfully drawn, so perfectly acted by the two actors. Somewhere made me want so much more, but it was like I was yelling my feelings over the loud hum of a helicopter, my words lost in the wind like thoughts disappearing from my head. Somewhere is a really remarkable film, and touches on all those Sofia Coppola themes and visuals that made me love her when I watched The Virgin Suicides for the first time. It's a shame this film gets written off (like I wrote it off) because of how slow it is on the surface. Underneath, there's a lot here to be found in the looks that the characters share and the wide open sky that just feels so oppressive.

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