Home> Just watched "Lost In Translation"

Just watched "Lost In Translation"

  • February 20, 2004 12:32 AM

very good film, I would reccommend it to anyone. It kept me interested, at some parts made me feel nostalgic even though i've never traveled outside the country. Other parts fir the bland Tokyo stereotypes, those crazy Japs they are so funny.

One of my favorite parts was when they were running through the streets, and of course, the mysterious ending which is in much heated debate.

I am not a good writer or movie reveiwer at all, but here is a wonderful review from Amazon.

Bill Murray is Bob Harris, a once popular American actor who now, in his middle-age, has found more acceptance and money from the people of Japan than from his own country. He arrives at a prestigious hotel in Tokyo and is given a royal treatment by his greeters and hosts. He is by himself in the land of the rising sun, his wife and kids having stayed behing in the US while he travels across the globe to do some liquor commercials. This Tokyo excursion will take about a week, and the monetary reward will be quite handsome. Contrast this with Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), who is at the same hotel tagging along with her photographer husband, John (Giovanni Ribisi), as he does a multiple-day photo shoot. John is at work most of the time, and so Charlotte is by herself at the hotel, her attempts to keep from being bored proving fruitless. Both Bob and Charlotte are married people, but they are also very lonely people, and that is what "Lost In Translation" is all about.

Bob and Charlotte catch glimpses of one another at different places in the hotel, and finally decide to converse in earnest at the hotel bar. The entire plot of the film is about these two people getting to know each other. The story revolves around them. In fact, the story *is* them. Bob, in his early-fifties, is old enough to be Charlotte's dad, but that doesn't matter here. It's not about age. It's about the place, and the points that each of these people are at in their lives. Bob loves his children very much, but we do not sense he feels the same for his wife. We hear her on the phone when she calls him, and the same weary sentiment seems to flow from her voice. They are becoming a couple in name only. Then there's Charlotte & John. Both are young, and both are self-possessed. John is into his photography to the point of neglecting Charlotte. But we get the idea that even if gave her more attention, Charlotte might not really warm up to him. She has issues of her own. If Bob is going through a mid-life crisis, then Charlotte seems to be going through a young-life crisis.

"Lost In Translation" is about being alone. Loneliness doesn't always mean that someone is physically separated from loved ones or from people in general. One can be alone in the middle of a crowded room. Such is the case with Bob & Charlotte. They're in Japan for a week. They don't really speak the language. Bob's wife is in the US, and Charlotte's husband is always at a photo shoot. The two lost souls find each other at the hotel, spend time with one another, and even sleep in the same bed together. But we know that while this is providing a small comfort for the time being, it is not a lasting solution to their problems. And we also understand that both Bob and Charlotte -- even if Bob's wife were in Tokyo with him, and John was by Charlotte's side all the time -- would still be lonely. Their life struggles lie deeper than what one person can provide, especially the persons they have chosen to settle down with.

This is probably Bill Murray's most understated performance, and it works brilliantly. He lets you in on Bob's emotions without betraying too much sentimentality. He conveys so much with just a smile, a frown, his body language, or simply the look in his eyes. He should get an Oscar nomination for this. Scarlett Johansson, who left me unimpressed in the movie "Ghost World" a few years ago, is excellent in her role here. She portrays Charlotte as a deep, troubled, yet intelligent young woman and, like her co-star, does it without overstating it. She spends much of her screen time walking around a hotel room in her pink panties, and does it so simply and matter-of-factly that it becomes both vulnerable and sexy at the same time. Johansson is definitely an actress to watch for in the coming years.

Sofia Coppola has succeeded in creating a sliver of time & place with "Lost In Translation". It creates two of the most realistic characters to ever grace the cinema. You forget this is a movie, and start to really care for these people as though they really exist. And you get the feeling that this is a single, solitary moment that will be over with and then fondly remembered by the characters for a long time to come. This sweeps over you before the film is even over, much like when you are in the middle of a special occurence or event in your own life, and you stop and think about the fact that at one point - very soon - it will cease to be the present, and will instead become only a nostalgic memory.

Comments:1

February 20, 2004 1:20 PM Reply

Hi. I heard it was really good too. I want to go see it but since my roomie got me tickets to go see 50 First Dates, I went and saw that. It was definitely cute. Glad you like the movie and congrats on passing that class!

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