EIFF 2012 Review: Brake (2012)

Jeremy Reins (Stephen Dorff) awakens to find himself locked in the boot of a car with nothing but a mobile phone, radio transmitter, illuminated digital countdown clock and an overwhelming lack of knowledge as to the reasons behind his sudden imprisonment. However, as time passes, it becomes clear that this nightmarish scenario is more than simply a hostage situation. Jeremy is an important target – a Secret Service agent who knows the whereabouts of the Continue reading “EIFF 2012 Review: Brake (2012)”

Review: Somewhere (2010)

After the candid and poorly-recieved Marie Antoinette, Sofia Coppola returns to familiar ground with her fourth feature Somewhere, a low-key and heartfelt exploration of love and atonement.

The film is a portrait of Hollywood actor Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff), who has settled into a life filled with booze, pole dancers, sex and reliance on prescription drugs.

When his daughter, Cleo (Fanning), is thrust into his protection, he’s forced to re-examine his life and find a way to take care of his daughter.

Almost the entire film is set at the famous Chateau Marmont in California. A character in itself, the hotel can be interpreted as a type of purgatory. Johnny’s desires are so easily gratified that he’s left with no inclination or need to leave it’s confinements. It’s almost a metaphor of his own uncertain place in life.

Stephen Dorff delivers a nuanced, troubled performance as off-the-rails Johnny, something that is exemplified in the scenes with Fanning’s Cleo.

Futhermore, Fanning is wonderful as the devoted and fragile daughter, providing a wholly astute and bewitching performance that compliments Dorff’s absolutely.

The immediate lack of on screen tension and any real progression towards an absolute end in the narrative may unfortunately dispel some movie-goers but, then again, Sofia Coppola’s style has never been for everyone.

For those, however, who do admire Sofia Coppola’s attention-to-detail – highlighted perfectly by Harris Savides’ mesmerising cinematography – Somewhere is a powerful, well-directed piece that, despite it’s slow-burning pace and lack of finite conclusion, deserves attention.