Sofia Coppola's film on celebrity wins in Venice

Sat Sep 11, 2010 3:15pm EDT
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By Silvia Aloisi and Mike Collett-White

VENICE (Reuters) - Sofia Coppola's "Somewhere," an insider's look at the life of a Hollywood actor who becomes numb to life through drink, drugs and a string of one-night stands, won the top prize at the Venice film festival on Saturday.

The choice of the U.S. director's movie for the Golden Lion award will come as a surprise on the Lido waterfront, where reaction to the Los Angeles-based drama was mixed.

Coppola tells the story of Johnny Marco, an up-and-coming star whose days are divided between five-stars hotels, Ferraris and blonde pin-ups, but also loneliness, tiresome media attention and boredom.

Marco, played by Stephen Dorff, is finally faced with the question of where a life so enviable on the surface is ultimately heading when his 11-year-old daughter unexpectedly comes to stay with him.

The daughter of director Francis Ford Coppola, and an Oscar winner for her screenplay of "Lost in Translation," partly based the film on her own experiences as a young girl following her famous father from one hotel to another.

"Thanks to my Dad for teaching me," she said at the awards ceremony.

The director award went to Spain's Alex de la Iglesia for "Balada Triste de Trompeta" (The Last Circus), a horror film doubling as a metaphor for fascist Spain that split critics.

PRIZES FOR PALS?   Continued...

<p>Sophia Coppola, director of "Somewhere" receives the Golden Lion for Best Film during the closing ceremony of the 67th Venice Film Festival September 11, 2010. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi</p>