Lost In Translation
The film follows Bob Harris (Bill Murray), a married movie star past his prime, now visiting Tokyo for work on commercials and ads. Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) is a young wife of a photographer who is extremely caught up in his work. On another long night, Bob and Charlotte cross paths in the hotel bar. The two are able to form a friendship, and this carries them onto adventures around Tokyo while not knowing any Japanese. As their friendship grows, they help each other find themselves. Bob’s experience with life helps the young and confused Charlotte, while she provides an outlet for him to talk to because he has lost connection with his wife.
Written & Directed by Sofia Coppola, This is her second feature film , and the recognition it receives is much deserved. The connection between Bob and Charlotte would be something magnificent if they were closer in age. However the path the two take is beautiful in it’s own way. Bill Murray carried this film on his back. His ability to form the perfect blend of humor/awkwardness helped bring Bob to life. Scarlett Johansson is able to express her emotions clearly and effectively. Unable to speak Japanese and without her husband for most the film, she just wonders around the city, looking for herself. When the two start going places together they encounter hilarious situations and awkward situations as well. Some of the best scenes are the ones that involve Bob caught up in the language barrier. The man has no idea what they are saying and is so confused by it but manages to turn the awkward situation into a funny one for himself.
An important thing this film shows is unexpected connections we make with others that might not last, but somehow stay with us forever. This films overall mood creates a fantasy for future encounters we may experience or have already been through. Meeting a simple stranger and forming a bond, even if only for a little bit, has the power to alter a person’s life. People are complex and all have their own problems and wisdom to share. This film shows the time two people meet and those problems and ideals clash together in a beneficial way. Which creates a fantasy for the viewer to hope that the next time they are in a foreign country that something similar will play out in their favor. Although all good things come to an end. I was really interested in seeing where this friendship would go, I knew that one of them was going to have to return back to the states eventually, and to my surprise the ending was one of the best I have seen in a while.
As great as this film is, it does have a few minor problems. The soundtrack was at times out of place. The film did have the whole indie vibe going on but the music was a little to loud and upbeat. A moment in particular is my favorite scene, which happens to be the ending. I felt emotionally moved and wanted that moment to carry out for a few moments longer, but the music rolled in and felt out of place towards what just happened. A second thing that may bother some is that the film can feel unstructured at times. Bob and Charlotte are in a massive city which causes them to become lost in it and go about randomly.It does begin to come together smoother as the film progresses.
Overall I found this film to truly be good. I hope that as the years go by this film will still be as great as it’s first view and if not that better. I feel as though the music will continue to sound out place but the emotions brought out by Murry and Johansson is enough to cover up the soundtrack. I look forward to seeing more from Coppola.
Rating: ★★★½ / ★★★★★
Dir. Sofia Coppola
IMDb 7.8/10 – Rotten Tomatoes 95%
Won Academy Award – Best Original Screenplay
Won Golden Globe – Best Picture Comedy
Won Golden Globe – Best Actor in Comedy
Won Golden Globe – Best Screenplay
BAFTA Film Award – Best Actor, Actress, Editing
AFI Award – Film of the year (2004)
“The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.”