Lost In Translation is a 2003 romantic drama starring Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson and was directed and written by Sofia Coppola, the daughter of acclaimed director Francis Ford Coppola who directed The Godfather trilogy and Apocalypse Now.
A big shot over the hill middle aged movie star Bob Harris (Murray) with a sense of emptiness, and a neglected newly-wed Charlotte (Johansson) meet as strangers visiting Tokyo, Japan with nothing in common other than loneliness and insomnia, and form an unlikely bond.
Bob finds himself growing further and further estranged from his wife whose back home in America with their children and Charlotte beginning to find herself increasingly ignored by her photographer husband, unsure if the man she has married is the same man she fell in love with.
Their lives entwine as they find themselves totally lost in a foreign land dealing with their regrets, worries, insomnia and questioning the meaning of their lives and the choices they have made. One scene in particular when Bob and Charlotte lie on a bed with the recurring question ‘does it get easier?’
The film is classed as a Romantic Comedy, yet there is comedy without any gags or witty one liner’s and is romantic with there being very little romance. The film, dialogue and characters are very honest, with their true feelings laid bare and true on screen and relate able real life issues, with incredible performances from Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson which engages the audience.
The film’s score is also perfect, with a sense of vast tones to soundtrack the landscape shots of the neon lights of Tokyo, a city that doesn’t seem to sleep, and the outstanding choice of Jesus And The Mary Chain’s distortion laden “Just Like Honey” closing the film elegantly as viewers, who click and identify with the film, will be holding back tears or at least a lump in the throat.
Another highlight of the film is the stunning Tokyo landscape visuals. The film takes us to many locations, vastly different at times, whether it’s a monk’s temple, the hotel rooms, a bar or watching Japanese teen’s playing away on arcade machines. The film isn’t meant to entertain, but rather be an eye-opener and an experience that everyone should have. It’s no surprise the film was nominated for four academy awards, and Coppola taking home the Oscar for best original screenplay.
If you want CGI heavy Blockbuster films or laugh out loud comedy, this isn’t for you, but if you want to see the world a little differently, this is the film for you.