Anyone remotely interested in seeing "Somewhere" will be better off watching "Lost in Translation," since that film sates what most people probably will be seeking in this film. Bill Murray's acting is superior to Stephen Dorff's in just about every way possible, despite the fact that Dorff could more easily pass as an action star than Murray could. Dorff has a small degree of pull as Johnny Marco, who spends all of his days drinking, watching pole dances in his hotel room, sleeping with any woman he can, and getting abrasive text messages from an anonymous source. He's unsatisfied, but, since he's not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, he doesn't possess the willpower to really do anything about it.
He's not really in touch with the life of his daughter Cleo (Elle Fanning), since he doesn't have custody over her, but since his wife is on one of those trips that could end tomorrow or never, he (as they say in "Animal Kingdom") "gets to see more of her." Cleo and by way of virtue Fanning is winning, and that (as well as Dorff, to some degree) keeps the audience at least somewhat absorbed. But look: viewing "Somewhere" is basically watching people doing shit that you and I do all the time. Whether or not that's in the service of any sort of profound notion (read: it's not really), it is what it is. I'm not too sure that a normal person would really want to pay money to see that. Nor do I think most will be too enthralled in the film's scrutiny of Johnny, which manifests itself in long takes of strippers, cars circling racetracks, and cars driving down LA freeways (observed in follow-shots behind the car in exactly the same way as every film Harris Savides has ever shot). I had a little nostalgia for the week I spent in LA a few years back, playing ping-pong and swimming like the characters do in the film, but found little pleasure more than that.
I apologize that this review cuts to the quick a bit fast. I just was tired of practicing the same restraint that Coppola did. When she gets out of her own way, I think that she will continue to make films as good as "Translation." C
Note: Many were frustrated with "LiT" in the way I was with "Somewhere." My take is that the former was enjoyable and watchable and worth my time, and the latter wasn't, or at least much less so.