Wednesday, December 22, 2010

For the record

I loathe Sophia Coppola's movies, although I've seen almost all of them; I keep thinking that there must be more to them, or that I was just in an ungenerous mood when I watched the previous one. And without fail, I walk out of the theatre full of rage at what narcissistic, self-indulgent nothings they are. (Though gorgeously shot and composed, I grant you.)

A. O. Scott's fawning review of Somewhere does nothing to convince me it's any different:
The opening shot of "Somewhere". . . prepares you for what is to follow in a characteristically oblique and subtle manner. A black Ferrari circulates on an otherwise empty desert speedway, driving in and out of the stationary camera's range as the noise of its engine oscillates between a distant whine and a full-throated roar.

The car completes a few more laps than would be necessary if the point of the scene were traditionally expository--if all Ms. Coppola wanted to convey was the fact that somebody (we don't yet know who) was driving around in a circle. . . .

[This is] a film that never raises its voice. . . but that nonetheless has the power to refresh your perceptions and deepen your sympathies. As it proceeds from one careful, watchful, slow shot to the next, a sad and affecting story emerges, about a father's loneliness and a daughter's devotion. But the experience of watching "Somewhere". . . is like reading a poem.
OH MY GOD. Kill me now.


Renaissance Girl said...

I object to this review as a poet.

Vardibidian said...

My spouse and I were watching a movie a couple of weeks ago, a very well-reviewed movie, and after about half-an-hour of extremely good acting depicting unpleasant people dithering to no purpose, I looked at her and said, "This is the sort of movie other people like." We didn't finish it.


Anonymous said...

Listening to Coppola on NPR the other day, I was reminded of my all time favorite letter to the editor -- at the NY Times, after the profiled her about 5 years ago: It was wonderful to see how a young woman can overcome a lifetime of privilege, adoration and endless connections to make something of herself. [The profile] pointed out only what every young American already knows: if Sofia Coppola can make it against such odds, so can I.

Historiann said...

I agree with Anonymous above. It's telling, given both the misogyny and nepotism of the movie industry, that Sofia Coppola is such a celebrated director.

Plus, she makes the same damn movie over and over again about the terrible existential problems of wealthy middle-aged men. WTF??? No wonder she's popular.

Anonymous said...

[I]t proceeds from one careful, watchful, slow shot to the next… the experience of watching "Somewhere". . . is like reading a poem.

"If you want a picture of "Somewhere," imagine a poem's boot stamping carefully, watchfully, slowly, on a movie-lover's face— forever."