FBMR - Lost In Translation
Film-Buff Movie Reviews


LOST IN TRANSLATION (2003) ***1/2

Some people Iíve spoken to really didnít think too much of this movie. I, on the other hand, loved it. Itís a talkie, not too much happens, thereís lots of talk. There are some great little scenes, and itís more a slice of life than a story-heavy film.

It reminded me of the film BEFORE SUNRISE or a Whit Stillman film. Itís very character driven, even when they donít say much with their voices, much is being said by their bodies, or simply by their silence.

American film star, Bill Harris (Bill Murray), who has hit a slump, finds himself in Japan to shoot an ad. Charlotte (Scarlett Johannsen), a twenty-something newlywed, finds herself in Japan, accompanying her photographer husband (Giovanni Ribisi) and gets left on her own when heís off on a shoot. Neither Bill nor Charlotte can seem to fall asleep, and soon, because of this common ailment, embark on a friendship filled with a sweetness and innocence, and just the right hint of sexual tension. Itís almost like watching two preteens who discover that they like each other, but donít quite know what to do. As much fun as they have together, I find that they are very careful about what they do and/or say.

Beautifully written and directed by Sofia Coppola, this film was quite clever. Some of Bill Murrayís lines and scenes looked like they were ad libbed (especially the scene with the old person in the hospital waiting room and the two women in the background laughing Ö whether they were extras and just couldnít help themselves, or they were told to overhear and react, it made the scene come alive).

I thoroughly enjoyed it! But like I alluded to earlier, itís not for everyone.