Elle Fanning, Stephen Dorff, Somewhere
Coppola's fellow Italian-American filmmaker -- and former boyfriend -- Quentin Tarantino headed the seven-person jury, which also included composer Danny Elfman and filmmakers Guillermo Arriaga and Arnaud Desplechin.
Partly inspired by Coppola's travels with her father, Francis Ford Coppola, Somewhere chronicles the empty existence of a (nearly) middle-aged Hollywood star (Stephen Dorff) into booze, drugs, and women. The actor begins to question his dissolute way of life after becoming reacquainted with his 11-year-old daughter (Elle Fanning).
In her Golden Lion acceptance speech, Coppola thanked her father "for teaching me." Francis Ford Coppola has never won a competitive Golden Lion, but he was awarded a Career Golden Lion in 1992.
For her 2003 comedy-drama Lost in Translation, Coppola, now 39, became the first American woman to receive a Best Director Oscar nomination.
Previous female winners of Venice's Golden Lion include Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, 2001), Agnès Varda (Sans toit ni loi / Vagabond, 1985), and Margarethe von Trotta (Die Bleierne Zeit / Marianne and Juliane, 1981).
Coppola has described Somewhere as "a portrait of today's L.A." Well, her L.A., perhaps; in other words, Bel Air or Holmby Hills. Los Angeles, after all, is a very, very big place where very, very few people are pampered, filthy rich movie stars.
Photo: Focus Features