I first saw this movie in 2010 in preparation for the release of Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere (a film that I love dearly), but I wasn’t really sold on its merit at that time. I think some of that had to do with my dislike of Scarlett Johansson (I’m warming up to her a bit these days, but I could still take her or leave her). However, with every rewatch of this film I find more things to love about it. It’s kind of a distant film, but when you warm up to it, or rather it warms up to you, you’ll find it’s a real gem. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, winning one: Best Original Screenplay (won), Best Actor Bill Murray, Best Director and Best Picture. The other films up for Best Picture that year were Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Mystic River, Seabiscuit and winner The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
My first experience with Sofia Coppola was when I was about 15 or 16 I think, when I rented The Virgin Suicides. When the film was first in theaters I was really into Josh Hartnett, and I remember being on the 8th grade trip to the Hilton in Reno and seeing that it was playing at the casino’s theater, but because the film was rated R and I was only 13 at the time I couldn’t go see it. Then I forgot about the film for a few years before renting it. I remember thinking it was one of the darkest films I’d seen at that point and also one of the films with the strongest point-of-view from its director. Since then I’ve kind of had a love/hate relationship with Coppola. Regardless, she has maintained her strong point-of-view in all of her films. I’ve yet to see her most recent film, Somewhere, but it has received wide-critical praise so far, including winning the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival over the weekend, becoming the first American woman to win it.