Sofia Coppola Conquers Venice With Hollywood-Based ‘Somewhere’

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Source: Venice Film Festival via Bloomberg.

Sofia Coppola, center, poses with the actors of her movie "Somewhere" -- Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning -- at the Venice Film Festival. The film was in the official competition at the festival and finally won the top prize.

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Source: Venice Film Festival via Bloomberg.

Sofia Coppola, center, poses with the actors of her movie "Somewhere" -- Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning -- at the Venice Film Festival. The film was in the official competition at the festival and finally won the top prize. Close

Sofia Coppola, center, poses with the actors of her movie "Somewhere" -- Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning -- at the... Read More

Source: Venice Film Festival via Bloomberg

Sofia Coppola directing her movie "Somewhere." The film won the top prize at the 2010 Venice Film Festival. Close

Sofia Coppola directing her movie "Somewhere." The film won the top prize at the 2010 Venice Film Festival.

Source: Venice Film Festival via Bloomberg

Natalie Portman plays a ballerina in the Darren Aronofsky film "Black Swan." The movie was in competition at the 2010 Venice Film Festival. Portman is married to dancer-choreographer Benjamin Millepied, who worked on the movie. Close

Natalie Portman plays a ballerina in the Darren Aronofsky film "Black Swan." The movie was in competition at the 2010... Read More

Source: Venice Film Festival via Bloomberg

Freida Pinto plays a Palestinian orphan in the movie "Miral." The film, directed by Julian Schnabel, was in the official competition at the Venice Film Festival, which ended Sept. 11. Close

Freida Pinto plays a Palestinian orphan in the movie "Miral." The film, directed by Julian Schnabel, was in the... Read More

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Julian Schnabel shoots a scene from his movie "Miral" in front of a Palestinian orphanage in Jerusalem. The movie was one of 24 contestants for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, ending Sept. 11. Close

Julian Schnabel shoots a scene from his movie "Miral" in front of a Palestinian orphanage in Jerusalem. The movie was... Read More

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Paul Giamatti, left, and Dustin Hoffman in "Barney's Version." The movie was in competition at the 2010 Venice Film Festival. Close

Paul Giamatti, left, and Dustin Hoffman in "Barney's Version." The movie was in competition at the 2010 Venice Film Festival.

Source: Venice Film Festival via Bloomberg News.

Marco Muller, director of the Venice Film Festival (left) poses with film director Quentin Tarantino on Sept. 1, 2010. Tarantino was chairman of the judges at the 2010 festival. Close

Marco Muller, director of the Venice Film Festival (left) poses with film director Quentin Tarantino on Sept. 1,... Read More

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Director Elia Kazan working on the set of the 1952 movie ``Viva Zapata!'' with Anthony Quinn sitting to his right. Kazan is the subject of a documentary by Martin Scorsese titled ``A Letter to Elia'' and screened at the Venice Film Festival. Close

Director Elia Kazan working on the set of the 1952 movie ``Viva Zapata!'' with Anthony Quinn sitting to his right.... Read More

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Martin Scorsese poses before presenting his documentary ''A Letter to Elia'' -- about the life of Elia Kazan -- at the Venice Film Festival. The documentary, made with Kent Jones, is a tribute to Kazan, who died in 2003 and is remembered by many for naming Communist colleagues during the 1950s McCarthy witch hunts. Close

Martin Scorsese poses before presenting his documentary ''A Letter to Elia'' -- about the life of Elia Kazan -- at... Read More

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Director Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino headed the panel of judges for the 2010 Venice Film Festival. Close

Director Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino headed the panel of judges for the 2010 Venice Film Festival.

Sofia Coppola followed in her father’s footsteps by winning a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, and said she hoped the prize would come as a boost to small-scale movies not shot in 3-D.

Coppola, 39, collected the top trophy on Sept. 11 with “Somewhere,” the story of a jaded actor living it up in a Hollywood hotel. Her father Francis Ford Coppola had secured a career Golden Lion in Venice in 1992.

Other U.S. contenders failed to impress jury head Quentin Tarantino and his panel. They included “Black Swan” by Darren Aronofsky, and “Barney’s Version” starring Dustin Hoffman.

“She won it fair and square in a complete unanimous vote,” said Tarantino after the red-carpet ceremony. “We were enchanted by the movie when we first saw it, but it proceeded to get better and better and better as the days went on.”

Coppola, wearing a strapless dress, recalled two other Los Angeles movies she loved -- “Shampoo,” from 1975, and “American Gigolo” from 1980 -- and said she was stylistically inspired by the 1960s French New Wave, particularly Jean-Luc Godard. She welcomed the award.

“It’s going to help our film,” she said, “and also encourage small personal films to be seen -- not in 3D.”

“Somewhere” is the tongue-in-cheek portrayal of Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff), a Ferrari-driving star who runs from any kind of emotional bond. Occasionally, he summons pole dancers to his Chateau Marmont suite, where they appear in pairs and matching outfits.

When his 11-year-old daughter Chloe (Elle Fanning) unexpectedly stays over, she gives him the taste of another life, and makes him question his own.

Natalie Portman

Among the more than 20 other entries, Aronofsky (who won the Golden Lion in 2008 for “The Wrestler” with Mickey Rourke) divided opinion with “Black Swan,” a horror movie set in the ballet world and starring Natalie Portman. Its only win: the best young talent prize for supporting actress Mila Kunis.

Hoffman played the part of a TV producer and hockey fanatic in “Barney’s Version,” directed by Richard J. Lewis.

Julian Schnabel, who snagged four Academy Award nominations for his 2007 “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” won nothing with “Miral,” inspired by the life of his orphaned Palestinian girlfriend Rula Jebreal.

Instead, a Spanish and a Polish director scooped most of the major awards. Spain’s Alex de la Iglesia won the best- director and best-script trophies for “Balada Triste de Trompeta” (“A Sad Trumpet Ballad”), the plight of a pair of clowns during the Spanish Civil War.

U.S. Military

Poland’s Jerzy Skolimowski bagged the Special Jury Prize for “Essential Killing” -- about a man captured by the U.S. military in Afghanistan who escapes from a secret European detention center to a forest. The movie’s male lead Vincent Gallo took the best-actor award.

Honored as best actress was Ariane Labed for the Greek coming-of-age picture “Attenberg” (by Athina Rachel Tsangari).

Festival-goers on Venice’s Lido island this year found the venue turned into a building site, as organizers overhauled the complex built by Mussolini to turn it into a year-round convention hub like that in Cannes.

The Hotel des Bains, the setting of Luchino Visconti’s 1971 “Death in Venice,” was also covered in scaffolding. The sprawling seafront edifice is being converted into a luxury apartment block.

Still, the Lido, with its villas and swaying palm trees, wasn’t short on glamour. Catherine Deneuve and Ben and Casey Affleck were three of the many stars who stepped off their speedboats and onto the red carpet.

To contact the writer on the story: Farah Nayeri in Venice on farahn@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Beech at mbeech@bloomberg.net.

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