Saturday, February 6, 2010

tm Does the QT 20 Part 16: Lost in Translation

Lost In Translation (dir. Sofia Coppola – 2003)

We start off with Charlotte (Scarlett), who’s in Tokyo with her husband (played by Giovanni Ribisi), a photographer (allegedly based on director Spike Jonze, Sofia’s ex-husband as of 2003). He’s gone most of time, photographing a band, so Charlotte kicks around the hotel and the city, eventually bumping into fellow lonely-soul Bob Harris (Bill Murray), a past-his-prime actor who’s there to shoot a whiskey ad. He’s married but clearly not into it and hitting a life crisis pretty much head-on. So, Charlotte and Bob hang out and kick around – eat some food, sing some karaoke, etc. They form a quick friendship – they go through some up’s and down’s but clearly they’re both enjoying the attention of the other; both are in a questioning state of their lives, though clearly coming at it from different viewpoints.

The movie had the buzz around it when it came – mostly focusing on Sofia (she is a Coppola, after all) and the allegedly glorious return of Bill Murray. Sofia’s next movie was Maria Antoinette which disappointed and since then Bill’s done some crazy things, like drive a golf cart after having some major doobage and storming out of the Oscar ceremony when he didn’t win Best Lead Actor (losing out to Sean Penn for Mystic River – hard to argue with that decision). Sofia did win for Best Original Screenplay but lost on Best Picture and Best Director in the Lord of the Rings /Return of the King cataclysm. The ‘making of’ bonus features on the disc are all about Sofia and Bill, too – Bill doing silly things, Bill learning some wacky words in Japanese, etc. while you Scarlett for about 30 seconds. Strange, as Scarlett probably got the biggest bump out of it, boosting her profile after generating some buzz in Ghost World (2001) and now has gone on to be Woody Allen’s new muse.

A movie where not much happens, it still unfolds gracefully and deliberately, telling what little it tells patiently and well.

tm sez: 7/10

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