After withdrawing to the Chateau Marmont, a passionless Hollywood actor reexamines his life when his eleven-year-old daughter surprises him with a visit.
That listless feeling when you've spent just a bit too much time in a hotel...
The car completes a few more laps than would be necessary if the point of the scene were traditionally expository if all Ms. Coppola wanted to convey was the fact that somebody […] was driving around in a circle. But what she is really saying is: pay attention; keep looking for longer than you think you need to; suspend your expectations and see what happens. What happens is something marvelous: a film that never raises its voice […] or panders to your emotions, but that nonetheless has the power to refresh your perceptions and deepen your sympathies. […] I am aware of spelling out themes that Ms. Coppola leaves unstated. But the waters of this film are not only still and deep but also bracingly clear, and the most remarkable thing about it may be how much it implies while saying so little. There is barely any quotable or memorable dialogue, and yet its images are so eloquent that they demand to be seen over and over again.
— A. O. Scott (New York Times)
Coppola has absorbed the Italian avant-garde more completely than her father ever did, and has made a film about celebrity in the vein of Antonioni and Bertolucci, a film about Hollywood in which she turns her back on it, possibly forever.
Where are we? What is this empty, science-fiction-like space in which luxury goods and women who resemble them are ceaselessly rotated in front of our eyes? Oh, it’s Hollywood.
Coppola has a gift, I’ll even call it a genius, for devising individual filmic moments that transport and transform both the characters and the viewer. She’s the queen of fleeting brilliance, little glimpses of beauty and sadness and truth.
This is a movie about a father and daughter who are learning, however haltingly and briefly, to connect. As they do, there are lovely moments along the way, [but] t there’s no discernible trajectory that joins one epiphany to the next, making Johnny’s last-scene revelation—and his ambiguous final gesture—feel unearned and underwhelming.
— Dana Stevens (Slate)