Author: de Semlyen, Phil
Date published: May 1, 2011
Next up: Travelodge The Movie
Fellini-does-Entourage parallels, her existential explorations may have reached a point of diminishing returns. Jt begs ihe question: is there any ennui-stricken corner of the human soul left to explore?
For a filmmaker as sensitive as Coppola, the answer is undoubtedly yes. Here, though, she fails to match the pathos that seeps from every frame of Lost In Translation, or even the punky grace of Marie Antoinette. Like La Dolce Vita's Marcello. Marco (Stephen Dorff) is a zestless passenger in his own life, living in LAs lorerich Chateau Marmont and seeking pleasure when it's long since lost its tang. Fellini would have cas! his musc Mastroianni in the role, an actor who could project existential angst with his eyes closed, and at one point, nodding oil' during a bedroom pole-dancing display. Dorff is required to do exactly that.
You can't help thinking the scene would have ended differently in Neveldine/Taylor's hands, but Marco has regressed to an almost childlike state of apathy. He's micro-managed by PRs. harassed by throwaway lovers, and wiles away his time on Guitar Hero. Dorff imbues it all with dishevelled charm, but there's so little going on that it's hard not to share the detachment. As the unread scripts and by extension, his career gather dust on the dresser of his suite, only 1 1 year-old Chloe (Elle Fanning) brings the hope of real meaning. And boy. does she do it well. The guileless chemistry between the pair is lovely, and the excellent Fanning delivers all the gentle wisdom required of a frustrated but doting daughter.
Coppolites will revel in the director's assured touch and the glimpse she affords of behindthe-scenes Hollywood, but there's little here to entice you back for another visit.
EXTRAS Only a short 'making of. although there's a voyeuristic glee to be had in peeking behind the Marmont's velvet curtain. Look out for a blackbird channelling the spirit of John Belushi.
Phil de Semlyen