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Lost in Translation
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Bob Harris (Bill Murray) and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) are two Americans in Tokyo. Bob is a movie star in town to shoot a whiskey commercial, while Charlotte is a young woman tagging along with her workaholic photographer husband (Giovanni Ribisi). Unable to sleep, Bob and Charlotte cross paths one night in the luxury hotel bar. This chance meeting soon becomes a surprising friendship. Charlotte and Bob venture through Tokyo, having often hilarious encounters with its citizens, and ultimately discover a new belief in life's possibilities. Shot entirely on location in Japan, Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation is a valentine to the nature of close friendships and to the city of Tokyo. Ms. Coppola's film, from her original screenplay, contemplates the unexpected connections we make that might not last - yet stay with us forever.
Like a good dream, Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation envelops you with an aura of fantastic light, moody sound, head-turning love, and a feeling of déjà vu, even though you've probably never been to this neon-fused version of Tokyo. Certainly Bob Harris has not. The 50-ish actor has signed on for big money shooting whiskey ads instead of doing something good for his career or his long-distance family. Jetlagged, helplessly lost with his Japanese-speaking director, and out of sync with the metropolis, Harris (Bill Murray, never better) befriends the married but lovelorn 25-year-old Charlotte (played with heaps of poise by 18-year-old Scarlett Johansson). Even before her photographer husband all but abandons her, she is adrift like Harris but in a total entrapment of youth. How Charlotte and Bill discover they are soul mates will be cherished for years to come. Written and directed by Coppola (The Virgin Suicides), the film is far more atmospheric than plot-driven: we whiz through Tokyo parties, karaoke bars, and odd nightlife, always ending up in the impossibly posh hotel where the two are staying. The wisps of bittersweet loneliness of Bill and Charlotte are handled smartly and romantically, but unlike modern studio films, this isn't a May-November fling film. Surely and steadily, the film ends on a much-talked-about grace note, which may burn some, yet awards film lovers who "always had Paris" with another cinematic destination of the heart. --Doug Thomas
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Top Customer Reviews
The film is a bit of a comedy and a bit of a drama. Though the comedy is generally subtle, and the drama is more about lack of fulfillment than raw emotion. Basically, you won't be seeing too many Oscar bait scenes of people screaming at each other. And I'm perfectly happy with that, as it becomes more real in tone when everything isn't constantly clever or attempting to manipulate your emotions like a hammer. It's just a very well told slice of life type story.
There's also a lot of entertainment to be derived from the film's namesake. There's quite a few rather iconic bits and scenes where the language barrier causes a bit of chaos. It's funny, but it also comes off as feeling quite real as well. And it never really goes off into feeling racist or mean spirited either, which is what I was almost expecting when I first saw this movie. I've never had a ton of faith in Hollywood handling diversity too particularly well.
This is just a well executed slice of life type movie that I think anyone who can even slightly stomach a slower paced talkie movie should see. The way the characters play, and how they play off of each other is s one of the best I've seen in cinema. And the story, while quite simple, has a good amount of depth to it. In the end, it's just a very well executed and entertaining film that I would just suggest checking out without any spoilers or expectations.
a guy getting older, a pretty young wife being ignored -- an interesting examination of the human condition.
I especially liked that a friendship developed, yet it never went too far. true friendship, mutual respect; an exploration of life and aging and respect and marriage and finality...
Bill Murray singing Roxy Music's "More Than This" in a Japanese karaoke bar is worth the watch all by itself.
- you just got a degree in photography, but you don't know why other than the fact you were told you have to go to college after high school. You're depressed. Depressed because you're bored in life, where you're married to someone who lives a simple boring life, where you always associate with people that lives boring uninteresting lives leaving you wanting more in life so you're "lost in translation" not knowing what to do with your life. So, you're left lingering around tokyo city hanging around japanese jazz clubs and japanese restaurants
But, this is the kind of film that depresses you because it leaves you wanting to see more of their stuck lives, what do they do with their lives, where do they go, how do they end up? As if the film is missing an ending that should've been longer. This was a unique film because it used the same professional style of filming we had not yet seen, before youtube even existed, where it showed how people's lives are in real life in the film of a part docu-movie, part photography project. Even though this is a movie about absolutely nothing, it's one of those movies that makes you want to watch it over again on a day where it's late at night and you're feeling depressed in life at 12am
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