Thursday, February 2, 2017


Lost In Translation tells the story of two people who have both lost themselves, in a literal sense and in an emotional sense. Playing Bob is Bill Murray, who delivers one of the most subtle performances of the 21st century, and playing Charlotte is Scarlett Johansson, who, just 17 at the time of filming, conveys such maturity, whilst also displaying a vulnerable innocence. That juxtaposition really is what makes, not only a great performance by Johansson, but with the perfect mix of Johansson's performance, and Sofia Coppola's writing, Charlotte becomes a fantastic character, who truly is the emotional centre of the film. And while Bob is the lead, and is going through a tough time, he is much more of a selfish character. We can sympathise with him, but ultimately, he is still just a rich actor moping about, clearly not happy with the state of his diminishing stardom and his marriage. He is likely just in a mid-life crisis, which leads him to his friendship with Charlotte, who ends up being the heart of the movie.

Charlotte is a lost lamb, who is constantly ignored by her husband, and feels like she doesn't fit in with his group of friends, and she doesn't know what she wants to do with her life. She, unlike Bob, has and will be in Tokyo for longer than he, and seems unhappy there. And through Coppola's writing of the character, we don't feel like she is suffering from first world problem disorder. Instead, we get why she is unhappy, and we get why she becomes friends with someone like Bob, who is also at a crossroads in his life.

I think what I love most about Lost In Translation is the friendship between Bob and Charlotte, and how unique, yet authentic it is. The notion of a woman in her early twenties, who just graduated from an Ivy League college, who has a degree in philosophy, becoming friends with a washed up actor who spends his nights in Tokyo walking the corridors of the hotel, and at the bar, drinking away his sorrows, is at first impression, kind of an odd prospect, but once these character's start talking to each other, it becomes evident that they aren't so different. And I love that idea. The idea that no matter how different two people appear to be, if they start talking to each other, and spending time with each other, when no one else will, they can find that they are very much alike, and can be friends, or at least shoulders to rest on whilst it seems that the rest of the world has turned their back on them.

Another one of my favourite aspects of the film is the style, the distinct aesthetic, the cinematography, the stunning shots of Tokyo that evoke a feeling within me that screams I WANNA GO TO TOKYO! Which is a testament to Sofia Coppola's ode to the Japanese city, because I hate long flights, but Lost In Translation makes me want to bite the bullet and explore every inch of the eccentric city.

There is a sequence in this film, where Charlotte and Bob go out for the night, and it is one of my favourite sequences in film, ever. The way that sequence breathes, and flows beautifully, and the brilliant camerawork by DP Lance Acord (who needs to work more often), and Sofia Coppola, is seamless, and that single sequence of events that play out, Bob and Charlotte going to the party, then singing in that great, unique apartment, and then running through the city and off back to the hotel in the cab, is just pure outright great filmmaking to me.

Also, one of the last things I wanna note is the Hotel they stay in, is just as much a character as they are. That hotel, at face value, is a beautiful, spectacular, wonderful hotel that anyone would want to stay in, but as the film goes on, and the characters become more isolated, the hotel, for me, sort of became a tight rope around the character's necks, gripping tighter and tighter with each lonesome night, and I think that is a great example of a hidden personification. Also, Anna Faris is also in this, and I just wanna point out how great she is!

Maybe on more viewings I'll find issues with the film, but right now, it is in my top 15 favourite films of all time, and as of this moment, I can't find a major or a minor flaw for that matter. This seemed odd, even to me, because Sofia Coppola has never been a favourite of mine, having only seen Marie Antoinette and The Bling Ring, the former of which I disliked and the latter I really liked for the first hour or so.

I loved Lost In Translation. It is a film that really speaks to me. I feel like I don't belong all the time, and find myself awake at night, pondering my life, as many do, and I think my fellow lonely hearts should watch this brilliant piece of art that showcases a beautiful friendship between two people who feel out of place in an alien world, finding solace in each other.

Sammy's Score: 10/10

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