Bob Harris and Charlotte 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. 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.
Sofia Coppola does a magnificent job of creating an off-beat romance between
extremely likeable characters in this film produced by Focus Features. Bill
Murray convincingly portrays a middle-aged TV star looking for a new
identity in a strange land (Japan). Scarlett Johansson effectively reveals
the inner sorrow of a woman who marries a Hollywood hotshot at a young age.
Utilizing some of the techniques from the critically acclaimed Virgin
Suicides, Sofia Coppola effectively orchestrates a tale of two lost
souls at sea.
Before I go any further this is not a mainstream film or a genre-breaking
film which may find itself into the mainstream. If you are looking for a
different take on love, you might find solace in this film, but if you are
looking for an entertaining romantic comedy you might be mildly
disappointed. Although the film does focus on sometimes tender, sometimes
hilarious relationship between Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, it does
not go anywhere fast and really doesn't end up anyplace special in the end.
Simply utilizing subtle comedic routines and tender moments this film can be
seen as a refreshing change of pace something similar to Whale Rider
which was released earlier in the year.
Lost in Translation focuses on problems not on the grandeur scheme of
most movies released this year, but utilizes its simplicity to reveal a
cooler take on love and romance. Without the Japanese setting this film
would have utterly failed since its an innovative way of conveying the
awkwardness present in the film. Although the film has a simple facade, near
the end you can see how well it was constructed and as a frequent movie-goer
it gave me an underlying sense of euphoria.
Most audiences won't find this film what critics made it out to be, but
with an open mind you might find this flick to be one of the most enjoyable
experiences this fall.
See this movie if you're a fan of:
Whale Rider (2003)
Sofia Coppola (Director/Screenwriter, The Virgin Suicides)
The Virgin Suicides (1999)
Bill Murray (Actor, Rushmore, Kingpin, What About Bob)