DRAMA; 1hr 37min
STARRING: Stephen Dorff, Elle Fanning
Pop music: Dorff and Fanning
Johnny Marco (Dorff) lives aimlessly in Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont hotel where models flit through discreetly lit corridors like angular fish, and willing girls and opiates are always at arm’s length. Johnny is a film star, which explains a lot, but he’s also a dad — although as writer-director Sofia Coppola (Marie Antoinette) contemplates his sybaritic routines, it’s clear that his 11-year-old daughter Cleo (Fanning, Dakota’s bright-spark younger sis) plays a minimal part in a demimonde that Johnny himself is barely engaged with.
Everything shifts, however, when Johnny’s ex-wife takes off, leaving the little girl in his care and the man with everything and nothing begins to question where he’s headed. Father and daughter travel to Italy and Johnny is treated like royalty throughout, which Cleo takes in her grounded-kid’s stride. Even so, this is as wild a ride for a kid as it is for anyone else. Coppola, whose understanding of it runs deep, takes its measure with such an unrushed insider’s command that it’s only by the end of the road that we see how far Johnny has travelled.