Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Lost In Translation (2003) - ★★★★★

Director: Sofia Coppola
Writer: Sofia Coppola
Stars: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johannson, Giovanni Ribisi, Anna Faris

Lost In Translation, is a film centered around a middle aged man that has a sense of emptiness on the inside and a newlywed that is growing apart from her husband as a result of neglect. This is a great film because of the way it presents the characters as just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl. When they discover each other in Japan and start hanging out, they bring purpose to each others lives and make life seem not so bad. It's one of the most heart-warming, hilarious and realistic comedies I've ever seen.
This is, dare I say, Billy Murray's greatest performance. He plays the depressive millionaire celebrity Bob Harris. He's in Tokyo to promote a brand of whiskey, but what he really wants to do is escape his troubled life at home. The love he has for his wife and children is displayed in a raw and truthful way through subtle expressions whenever he talks of them.

When he talks of having his first child he says, "Your life, as you know it... is gone. Never to return. But they learn how to walk, and they learn how to talk... and you want to be with them. And they turn out to be the most delightful people you will ever meet in your life." It's powerful and truthful dialogue like this that makes it better than most romance and comedy films.

I believe this is also Scarlett Johansson's best performance to date playing Charlotte, a young woman still trying to find out who she is and if she has purpose. One night while at a bar, Bob and Charlotte meet each other. They have a normal conversation with such masterful chemistry that it went beyond acting. They inhabited the people they were playing.  

Coppola paints a stunning picture of Japan in this film. The cinematography and locations are just sublime. The whole movie could be used as a traveling advertisement for Japan. My favourite scene in the whole movie is when Johannson sits by her hotel window, looking out into Tokyo. The camera looks down on her as she looks down on the bustling city, somehow telling us that she feels so alone. She's alone in a place where there are people everywhere.

From the beginning it was like Bob and Charlotte were destined to be together. They become best friends through talking about what they want in life, their many experiences and hanging out at crazy locations in Tokyo. These two have a bond that anyone would be lucky to experience once in their life.Their fun together is infectious and their dependence on each other to get through their tough time in Tokyo is displayed in a most beautiful fashion.

I wish Murray had nabbed the Best Actor Oscar, I just loved his character so much. This is one of my personal favourite movies. The film shone greatest whenever Murray and Johannson were together. Their subtle actions and powerful dialogue were wise beyond their years. I hope everyone gets to see Lost In Translation, it's one of those movies that you can enjoy many times over.

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