98 minutes| U.S.A.| 2010| Colour| D-Cinema

This film was released 10th December 2010, and is no longer screening.

Winner of the Golden Lion at Venice, Sofia Coppola’s latest tackles weighty issues in a deceptively casual manner, tracing the day-to-day drift of an overpaid, oversexed Hollywood leading man holed up in L.A.’s legendary Chateau Marmont. Given that our initial sympathy for Stephen Dorff’s seemingly vapid ‘Johnny Marco’ is pretty much non-existent, this is quite a challenge, yet Coppola’s intimate eavesdropping on his quotidian round of booze, pills and interchangeable women actually poses an implicit existential question: if all your material and sexual needs are catered for, what is it that gives your life meaning? The arrival of his 11-year-old daughter
(Elle Fanning, rather sweet but never cloying), who greets every day with a purpose and joie de vivre he singularly lacks, puts these issues in focus as Coppola finds a masterful balance between surface spontaneity and expressive intent – aided immeasurably by the vanity-free precision of Dorff’s central performance. A witty and discreetly poignant companion piece to Lost in Translation. (Notes by Trevor Johnston).

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