26 December 2003Cast:
Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Anna Faris, Giovanni Ribisi, Fumihiro Hayashi.Director:
101 MinutesEveryone Wants To Be Found.Synopsis:
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.My Verdict:
Sofia Coppola wrote the screenplay and directed Lost In Translation, her second feature film, the first being The Virgin Suicides. The film was shot entirely on location in Tokyo, Japan and has a similar type of atmosphere as that of The Virgin Suicides. It is this atmosphere that is the most appealing aspect of the movie.Lost In Translation is a very slow movie but that doesn't mean that it is dull. The premise is simple - two people meet and their lives change as a result. It is why their lives change that is important. The two main characters, Charlotte and Bob are both lost. They have lost the meaning in their lives. They have lost sight of what they really want. Maybe by meeting they will find the lost meaning.
Bill Murray plays Bob Harris perfectly. Bob is a has-been actor, has been in a boring marriage for too long, and doesn't know what he wants any more. Bill gives Bob an aged cynical view to the situation he finds himself in. He manages this by deadpan delivery and comical facial expression. He has a rather humourous encounter on the photo shoot set, especially with the translation of the photographer's directions and another hilarious situation when he has a masseuse delivered to his hotel room by the company employing him. Scarlett Johansson is fresh as Charlotte, something which Bob finds inviting. She accuses him of a mid-life crisis. He agrees. And so they find themselves inexplicably drawn to each other. They discover Tokyo together and get lost in the translation of a culture they didn't dream existed.
The movie is really about Bob and Charlotte with their spouses entering their lives occasionally. There is such a feeling that Bob and Charlotte will cement their relationship and the movie spends much of the time leading us there. Some may find this path too long and slow, but it is necessary given their characters - discovering that you don't like your life is painful and accepting it is a slow road. The ending may disappoint but it also leaves us to make up our own minds about the future of Bob and Charlotte, and if indeed that they are no longer lost. This is one of 2003's best films and worthy of seeing.
- Christina Bruce