Sofia Coppola's journey to Somewhere 

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Somewhere is a film that asks us to pay non-withering attention to the ennui of the beautiful, rich and famous, made by a woman who is beautiful, rich and second-generation famous. Not everyone has been willing. When the movie won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival in September, where it was in competition against such formidable contenders as Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, some journalists cried foul because the jury included Quentin Tarantino, whom Coppola dated briefly after divorcing Jonze. Coppola also has been accused of treading familiar ground. A story of a man at a crisis point, who has a relationship with a female 25 years his junior, in a luxury hotel? again?

In both films, self-obsessed characters lose themselves in moments that can't be sustained. But Translation and Somewhere milk ephemera for different emotional results, and the parallels between the two films point to their key difference: Coppola's increasingly mature point of view.

With no permanent residence in Los Angeles, she and Mars and their kids have been living at the Chateau while Coppola promotes Somewhere. In a few days, Coppola and her family head up to Napa for Christmas. After that, she'll start to think about her next project. In an echo of her film's symbolic ending, she tells me that she has just let go of one major tie to Los Angeles. "I had an old Jaguar and I recently sold it," she says. "I love cars and I miss that part of L.A., driving around. I had it for, like, 10 years, but it was just sitting in a garage."

Is it a sign that she has decisively put Los Angeles in her rearview mirror? If so, she isn't letting go completely. She smiles and adds, "I sold it to a friend." 

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