Sofia Coppola’s critically acclaimed new film.


“I wrote ‘Somewhere’ in Paris,” Sofia Coppola told me over lunch in New York. “It was right after my daughter Romy was born and I was a little homesick for California.” Coppola started thinking about the Chateau Marmont, the legendary hotel in Hollywood, which she had frequented in the early Nineties. “I wanted to write something minimal and moody,” she said. “I love L.A. movies like Shampoo from the Seventies and American Gigolo from the Eighties. I thought we needed an L.A. movie for this time.” Somewhere, which won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival in September and will be in theaters December 22, seems to exist in its own particular universe. Johnny Marco, portrayed by Stephen Dorff, is an actor living at the Chateau while he recovers from a broken arm. His daughter, Cleo, played by Elle Fanning, comes to visit unexpectedly and interrupts her father’s movie-star ways. As she did in Lost in Translation, Coppola deftly strikes a balance between engagement and dislocation: Johnny and Cleo have a deep bond, but they’re also strangers. Somewhere is profoundly intimate—its sense of interior life aided by the fact that so much of the film is set in hotel rooms. “Hotels always give you a sense of possibility,” explained Coppola. “They take you out of your life.”