Sofia Coppola's 'Somewhere' debuts in Venice

Film based on director's recollections of traveling with father

Somewhere -- Film Review
Gallery: Venice Film Festival

VENICE -- The world premiere of Sofia Coppola's unusual coming-of-age drama "Somewhere," which screened Friday in competition at the Venice Film Festival, is based at least in part on the 39-year-old director's recollections of traveling as a young girl with her father, director Francis Ford Coppola.
 
The film, which tells the story of a troubled actor/father's relationship with his 11-year-old daughter, screened to a mostly enthusiastic response at a rain-drenched festival Friday.
 
In a press briefing, Stephen Dorff, who played the father, cast the film as a coming-of-age story for his character, who starts to recognize the emptiness of a life filled with five-star hotels and a series of sexual liaisons when he is forced to look after his young daughter, played by Elle Fanning.
 
"During the course of the story my character becomes a man," Dorff said.
 
For her part, Coppola said that many of the details of the film -- including a stop in Milan, where the characterization of Italian television is being criticized in the Italian media -- are based on her own recollections of traveling with her father.

Like her Oscar-winning 2003 hit "Lost in Translation" (which also premiered in Venice), much of "Somewhere" is set in hotels in Los Angeles and Italy.
 
"We spent a lot of time going out, living in hotels when we were on location with my dad, so I always find when you are living in a hotel it's like a world in and of itself," she said. "I like hotels as settings, because they are impermanent. A lot of the characters I am interested in are in a moment of transition, and it seems fitting that they would be in an impermanent setting."
 
Medusa, the cinema arm of Italian media giant Mediaset and a co-producer of the film, announced the film would open in Italy later Friday, just after the world premiere screening on the Lido, meaning it will open in Italy before any other territory.
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