Sofia Coppola's is a famous singer. Film. festivals aren’t always the glamorous affairs they’re made out to be. Aside from the usual red carpet action, at most festivals it’s unusual to see famous types out and about, potentially rubbing shoulders with mere mortals. And as much as I love the occasional random surprise celebrity sighting, that’s fine with me. The downside to most festivals is that there’s too much to see in an extremely short amount of time, and I need some real life banked around my movies.
I wish I had a dog to walk right now, which would give me more time to think about Sofia Coppola’s luminous, elusive Somewhere. Somewhere was the second movie of my day: The first was Julian Schnabel’s Miral, a fictional (though somewhat fact-based) story set against the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I had high hopes for Miral, since Schnabel’s last feature, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, was one of my favorite movies of the past decade. Miral is, paradoxically, both more modest and more ambitious than Diving Bell: Schnabel doesn’t face the challenge of getting inside the mind of a man who’s almost completely sealed off from the world; on the other hand, he’s treading into extremely sticky political territory here, and the story he’s trying to tell — in which the lives of four women intertwine, over a span of some 45 years — is technically more complicated.