I love this movie. It might actually be my favourite Sofia Coppola film. I know that's a big call - especially with that husky-voiced Scarlett Johansson running around Japan like the ingenue that she was in Lost in Translation - but there is something quite wonderful about its total simplicity and ease. It's sunday, distilled into film form. It's those moments of plain happiness, of hours spent by the pool, and ice cream in bed, and the writing of lists, that make up the every day, but have their own kind of importance. Coppola's movies are always about those moments. But in Somewhere I think she does it best. She has said before that it was the first movie she made after giving birth, and her approach had changed. There are some great stills from the production that show her daughter Romy curled around her as she peers into the viewfinder... It's those moments that Coppola captures. The quiet of companionship and the love between a child and a parent that forgives almost anything. One of the (many) good scenes in this film is where Cleo and her dad drink pretend cups of tea in the pool at the Chateau Marmont. At the end, out of nowhere, Cleo explains the plot of Twilight to her father, and he responds with the typical bewilderment of parents towards teen culture. It's so normal, so real that it's quite astonishing. But an even better scene is when the duo are having room service breakfast in their hotel in Italy and are joined by Johnny's one-night squeeze. The look on Cleo's face is priceless. Equal parts condescension and indignation, it is perfectly offset by her peachy-keen linen shirt.
So I know that Cleo is 13 in this movie, and you should dress your age and not your shoe size (which Coppola herself actually said, oops!), but her wardrobe is so great that I can't leave it out. It's all about the stripes - when isn't it, really? - and I don't know what I love more, those loose tee shirts with the thin, almost pin-stripes, or the lemon yellow and grey breton sweater she dons for a ride on a private jet. There are stripey sundresses and playsuits too, in enough mint greens and navy blues to populate an entire A.P.C store. I guess you have to recognise that this is no ordinary teenager, and this is no ordinary movie. They've got Sofia Coppola helming creative direction and picking out petit bateau singlets for Elle to wear. But in many ways the wardrobe of a young teenager is never just the product of the girl herself. Their mums are still calling the shots, remember? That's why you have hard-wearing materials and sensible shoes and nothing ridiculous. Teenagers, being teenagers, will always put their own spin on things, like funny little necklaces or cat-eye glasses. But the beauty of being young and lovely is not needing clothes to make yourself so. Teen Vogue is not really about the clothes, is it? It's about the lifestyle. Clean skin and bright eyes and perfect hair. Of guitar hero, eggs for breakfast and cheeseburgers for dinner.
And since my wardrobe is all about hard-wearing materials and sensible shoes, I can't help but love it. It's lin's normal casual - rendered haute casual because of Elle Fanning's quite spectacular beauty, and beauty in youth is always spectacular, don't you think? - which is, of course, the best kind of casual. It's also a kind of hotel casual - clothes that are made for that hop, skip and jump from room to rooftop pool. I love hotels. When you think about them, and I mean really think about them, they are fascinating places of transience: stop-overs from here to there, somewhere to rest your head for a little while, but just somewhere. So hotel casual, by extension is always going to be the perfect blend of comfort and style. The exciting, maybe even off-beat mix of stripey dresses and colour-blocked sweaters, or the ease and obviousness of jeans and a tee shirt.