Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Anywhere else but Somewhere

Two days ago I saw Somewhere. This film can be summed up in two words: fucking awful. Now in saying that, I should mention that I'm a big fan of Sofia Coppola's other films. I even liked Marie Antoinette (which could have used actual character development and the edit of a lifetime). The thing is, Marie Antoinette was still relatively enjoyable because it was shot beautifully with stunning scenery, wonderful costumes and set design accompanied by an amazing soundtrack. Coppola's movies are generally intimate glimpses into a character's life, subtle, aesthetically pleasing, interesting and slow (the good kind of slow. The Mad Men kind of slow). Somewhere was basically 2 hours of Coppola using excrutiatingly long continuous shots to demonstrate how boring and monotonous the main character's life was (which, thanks to a glaringly obvious visual metaphor in the opening scene, a monkey would have realised about 60 seconds in). I know this was a technique she used on purpose but that somehow makes the whole thing worse. Every scene felt like it would never end. Think Family Guy long, but just not funny, not even terrible funny, just cringe-inducingly awful. There was also a painful absence of a soundtrack throughout most of it, which might have partially redeemed the meagre visual offerings. But no. Bland town.

This film pissed me off in a way I haven't felt since The Postman. I was so bored I actually felt offended. It felt as though Coppola was saying "well, now I have all you artsy types wrapped around my little finger, I'm just going to make a movie about NOTHING and throw in the younger sister of a Hollywood A-Lister and you will all come and see it and say it's a genius minimalist work of art and I will laugh spitefully into my big pile of money until I am sick into my own scorn". I feel like I need to watch it again (even though I would rather swallow glass) because I really can't believe that the same person who directed Lost in Translation could ever make such a movie and think "Fuck I'm good". I read the reviews for Somewhere and most of them went something like "Brilliant seductive hypnotic sensual dream-like modernism blah blah blah". I think they were actually describing the Cate Shortland film Somersault and just got really effing confused. Was this movie some kind of social experiment? Did I accidentally walk into the wrong theatre and see a continuous loop of boring home movies? Was this some sort of ironic hipster film about the significance of deleted scenes? Are you supposed to be ripped out of your mind before you watch it?

Maybe I'm being unnecessarily cruel, but in my opinion the only redeeming quality that Somewhere possessed was that I was so incredibly bored that the relief from escaping the movie theatre gave me a new appreciation for life.