Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff) is a Hollywood movie star who has reached a point in his life where he doesn't have to do much to keep his acting career going. He lives at the Chateau Marmont hotel and says hello to the staff who serve him; this is the closest anyone can get to him. In the opening scene, Johnny is driving his Ferrari in circles — an exercise in futility demonstrating his boredom or signaling the onset of a possible midlife crisis. On another occasion, we see him lying in bed, half-drunk or dazed on dope while two beautiful girls (twins, no less) do an erotic dance. Much to their dismay, he falls asleep during their performance, and they exit.

Johnny's routine is interrupted by a visit from his 11-year-old daughter, Cleo (Elle Fanning). He is informed by his ex-wife that he needs to look after her for a while and then make sure she gets to summer camp. Cleo is a talented ice skater and a curious child who doesn't know much about her father and his hedonistic lifestyle. Johnny decides to take her to Milan where he is staying at the city's most luxurious hotel. At a press conference, the movie star is asked, "Who is Johnny Marco?" and "What are your workout secrets?" The media can make or break a celebrity but, as evidenced here, they are incapable of asking worthwhile questions. Of course, maybe they have long ago given up on inarticulate stars. Johnny takes Cleo to an Italian presentation where he is honored.

Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation) directs this plotless drama about the unspecified malaise of a Hollywood movie star. It won the Golden Lion Award for Best Picture at the 2010 Venice Film Festival. Johnny is a womanizer and is receiving nasty missives from someone he has wronged. Certainly one of the most telling scenes is when he goes to a special effects studio to have a cast of his head made. They completely cover his face, including his eyes and mouth, with plaster. Then he has to sit for 40 minutes. Here we see the extent to which the actor is a pawn in the movie-making game; he is moved around at random and treated as an object.

In a sly and subtle way, Johnny's close and intimate encounter with his daughter opens a door inside him to fresh possibilities. And so as we watch him in the closing scene, we wish him well, thinking of Anais Nin's words: "There is not a cosmic meaning for all. There is only the meaning we all give to our lives, an individual meaning."

Special features on the DVD include the making of Somewhere.