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Lost in Translation

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Tuna's Avatar
Lost in Translation is a film starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johannson as Bob and Charlotte, two Americans in Japan who are unable to find meaning or sense in their lives and meet up and discover a nice friendship and the enlightenment it can provide.

Ok, now not having seen Virgin Suicides I'm a newcomer to the Sofia Coppola craze but after seeing this movie I have to say that she is brilliant as a director in this movie. She reminded me of Paul Thomas Anderson in terms of cinematography with those 2 second long shots on empty streets in Punch-Drunk Love that looked beautiful, except she does this with almost every scene in the movie revealing Tokyo in a glorious fashion. Any scene in the movie could make a perfect picture and it gives you an ideal sense of being in Tokyo.

Another huge plus for the film was the soundtrack. At some points it had an incredible relaxing score fitting the scene perfectly, other times there was some electronica, and some retro 70's or 80's sounding songs that completely conveyed the mood of a scene.

Coppola didn't seem to have much impact on me as a writer seeing as some dialogue was my only problem with the film at points. Don't get me wrong I loved the humerous conversations and interaction between the main characters and native Japanese, they were the most amusing parts of the movie. There were just scenes lodged in my mind seeming corny and cliche and i was just hoping for something a bit more different.

The plot is excellent and original in some respects. The film also can be pretty entertaining at parts and leave you thinking, mostly about each character's current feelings. Any other movie would have Bob screw up half way through, piss off Charlotte, do something to make it up to her and become friends (or lovers) with each other again, but thankfully that's not the case. Their marraiges are struggling and they find companionship in each other, can't they solve their problems as friends? Well now we have an answer to that.

The character development and acting were brilliant especially Bill Murray as he changes slowly because of his connection and interaction with Charlotte. You see him as the lethargic, bored and at points depressed for the beginning of the movie. Charlotte is bored also, but searching for meaning, feelings, which she is unable to find without her husband being any help. Once they meet, you begin to see life ignite within Bob, he reveals his wit, a fun side, and wisdom. Charlotte displays her fun side too, her intelligence and finds comfort in Bob. One of the main reasons I saw this movie was because of Scarlett Johannson (who i loved enough in Ghost World to put her near the top of my favorite actresses, but that's just me) and i felt she did a remarkable job too, as the quiet daydreaming character who is just mainly lost in life, and proves to be a splendid companion to Bill Murray as Bob in a friend/friend and at some times a father/daughter situation. I have to see the movie again to take better notes of the subtle actions that the characters perform standing out as hints to their emotions and personalities such as Bob carrying a sleeping Charlotte to bed and slowly doing things to tuck her in and make it as comfortable as possible.

I think I've covered pretty much everything that stood out to me, but i have to point out the city scenes again. I just love the imagery all throughout Tokyo and the serene temples. Tokyo as crowded as it is is conveyed with a sense of emptiness within Charlotte as she wanders aimlessly through the streets. Sure it's incredibly contradictory and probably makes no sense, but this is the type of movie it is to me. I just want to keep on typing and blathering on trying to explain the feelings I received from watching this. Ok ok I'm done. I think I'll see this Sunday again, i thought it was the best movie I've seen so far this year and now people have been telling me that many critics are saying similar things. So pray that its playing somewhere near you with the limited release and go!