By taking her sweet, subtle time to tell the story of a Hollywood child (Elle Fanning) spending time with her neglectful movie-star daddy (Stephen Dorff), writer-director Sofia Coppola defies American audiences who want their films like their food: fast. Got to love the Coppola resistance. She gives Somewhere the hypnotically deliberate pace of a European art film, as Cleo, 11, hangs with her father, Johnny Marco, around L.A.'s Chateau Marmont. The two play video games, slouch around the Chateau lobby and pool, and jet off to an awards show in Milan. Cleo ice-skates; Johnny invites two pole dancers to his room. Through the awkward boredom, we are meant to discern a relationship between a man in crisis and a daughter on the cusp of womanhood. Dorff and Fanning could not be better at embodying those states. As in Lost in Translation, Coppola keeps an eye out for the broken places. That's when Somewhere is really something.
Merrick Morton/©Focus Features