Having just sat through the entirety of Sofia Coppola’s interminable bore of a film “Somewhere” i feel the need to offer my perfectly reasonable and carefully composed opinions on the career of ms Coppola.
I really, truly, deeply and with great passion, despise this woman’s films.
“Somewhere” centers around a period in the life of fictional movie star Johnny Marco, played by Stephen Dorff (best known for his work in the critically acclaimed, worldwide box office smash “Blade”) with a subtle blend of coma inducing boredom and less screen presence than a talking guinea pig. He obviously tortuously depressed despite being so hugely successful and this is shown by him hardly uttering a word for the first half hour of the film. Great scriptwriting there Sofe. When he gets an unexpected call from his ex-wife informing him that he has to take his daughter for an indeterminate period of time he is forced to reconnect to his life and rediscovers the small joys that are what means most.
Now ordinarily i like a good insiders look into stuff but his film is spectacularly uneventful and incredibly drawn out. The overriding themes of isolation and ennui are not new territory when it comes to artists and are given a full feature treatment to what would have made quite a good short film. The whole thing also reeks of the cool, privileged kids talking amongst themselves and sharing a private joke like the self-indulgent wankers they apparently are. Somehow this film won an award at the Venice film festival and i honestly suspect that it is her fathers name that is the only reason anyone cares about her movies at all.
Prior to “Somewhere” was the insipid and jarring “Marie Antoinette” which purported to explore the loneliness of being a noble-born woman in a mans world. Instead it was a fluffy piece of cotton candy that had as much depth as a puddle of urine without the sense relief one normally associates with urine. Sofia has said that she didn’t want to make an historical document but an interpretation so rather than write her own original story she appropriated one of the most important periods in the western words history to make a “poor little misunderstood rich girl flick”. The choice of New-wave and Post Punk 80’s retro-chic soundtrack further added to the sense that this film was just “Pretty in Pink” for French queens in the 18th century. Somehow it got nominated for some awards and i honestly suspect that it is her fathers name that is the only reason anyone cares about her movies at all.
Prior to that was the critical darling and academy award winning “Lost in translation” another myopic window into the lives of poor, sad isolated little celebrities. Bill Murray is Bob Harris, an bitter old actor in Japan to film an advertisement. He is sad and lonely and isolated (hmm… i’m recognising a theme here) and drinks alone in the bar of his luxury hotel in central Tokyo. There he meets Charlotte, played by Scarlett Johansson who until then had been best known for her role in the psychological thriller “Eight legged Freaks”. For some reason they sort of have a kind of love affair thing with no sex and no real conversation. Then he leaves and whispers something to her that we can’t hear, my money is on “Do you believe that your character would ever find mine attractive?”. Once again this is a window into a privileged word and how sad it is for those that live there. Even the humor littered through the film is of the bitter, self referential kind – Bill Murray’s exchanges with the Japanese director as example of things being lost in translation and so on. One thing lost in translation is the notion that just because they’re foreigners don’t mean they have to be caricatures. Most of the Japanese characters are depicted as a rolling series of cliches gleaned from the latest western J-pop fetishest website. Somehow it was nominated for several oscars and WON one! But i honestly suspect that it is her fathers name that is the only reason anyone cares about her movies at all.
Then of course, way back in the dark dawn of the 21st century, was “The Virgin Suicides”, an asinine and monotonous film that i LITERALLY slashed my wrists to get away from and Sofia’s breakout film. This one concerned themes of, wait for it, isolation sadness and ennui. Five Sisters, for some unfathomable reason, all decide to kill themselves but not before goading a bunch of witless neighborhood boys into thinking they have a chance. Why they did it is all a big mystery but presumably has something to do with an incredibly sheltered life in which innocence can only survive against the rigors of the world by being preserved in death. Or some-such nonsense. Really all that happens for two hours is wispy soft focus shots of sepia toned suburbs accompanied by a painfully hip soundtrack comprised of the indie-est of indie cool and the euro-est of mind numbing euro lounge synth. Somehow this movie garnered widespread critical praise and i honestly suspect that it is her fathers name that is the only reason anyone cares about her movies at all.
So having made 4 versions of essentially the same crappy film with different curtains, over a period of 11 years, why should i should i care? Because she is Francis Ford’s daughter? Because she is Carmine’s grand-daughter? Because she is Nick Cages’ cousin? At the risk of becoming isolated, lonely, sad and full of an inexorable sense of ennui i choose to not care and to continue, fervently to believe that she is just a spoiled little daddy’s girl that has been indulged beyond the point of reason. It’s time for Frank to wake up and smell the excrement his daughter keeps leaving behind her and stop encouraging her by producing her films. And make her change her name. And have her arrested for crimes against the movie-going public. And take out an injunction against all of her 4 features effectively banning them from being seen by anyone ever again.
And to the critics that seem totally beguiled by her? Wake the fuck up retards!
El Bludgerino (if you’re not into the whole brevity thing)