Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere Draws on Family History

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The Coppola clan often tells stories about family, and Sofia Coppola has been known to draw on her life when writing film characters. Some of the inhabitants of Lost in Translation were famously based on her former husband Spike Jonze and the actress Cameron Diaz. (And Diaz’s appearance at Comic Con this year suggested that Anna Faris’s characterization of Diaz was dead on.) Now there are suggestions that her new film, Somewhere, draws directly on her experience in the limelight with her father, Francis Ford Coppola.

Somewhere follows Stephen Dorff as a “bad-boy actor” who gets an unexpected visit from his 11-year-old daughter, and is forced to reexamine his life. Elle Fanning is in the cast as the daughter…but new comments suggest that the ‘daughter’ is heavily based on Sofia, which suggests that Dorff is based at least in part on her father. Actor Nino Frassica spoke about his small part in the film, which has moved on from on-location production at LA’s Chateau Marmont to locations in Italy.

Me and [actress Simona] Ventura play a scene which belongs to Sofia’s memories. Her trip to Italy with her father (Francis Ford Coppola) who came to receive the Telegatto Award. In the scene we give the Award to an actor, whose name I can’t remember and who plays the father, while in the hall sits a little girls who plays Sofia (Elle Fanning).

That translation comes courtesy of a fan at I Heart Sofia [via The Playlist], and may not be entirely correct. And the question is, if the scene is drawn from Coppola’s own memory, does that imply that the film as a whole is a meditation upon her relationship with her father, or is it just the (more likely) case that the scene in question is based on experience while the film as a whole is not a biographical piece?

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