Lost In Translation

Posted: August 18, 2010 in Films
Tags: , ,

Starring: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson

Director: Sofia Coppola

Year: 2003

This is a film about loneliness, finding out who you are, what you want and where you are heading in life.  The film is so true to life, so captivating that it makes you want to review your own life and your own decisions – in a way, this film is a healer.

The film is based in Tokyo, and the Japanese culture and way of life is very evident.  Basically, Bob Harris (Murray) is an actor who has been in the business for quite a number of years but he has reached a dead-end in his career, with the acting jobs starting to decrease, he is visiting Tokyo to reluctantly put his acting skills into making an advert.  He is happily ready to come back home once the shoot is over, until he meets a fond, ‘lost’ young lady called Charlotte (Johansson) in the hotel bar and he decides to stay put for a few more days until his time in Tokyo officially ends.  They both start to get emotionally attached to one another, with one of the finest acting displays I have witnessed in a beautiful scene where they are both lying on a bed together discussing why they are ‘lost’ and quietly offering advice to each other.  It is such a gripping scene, with fine, strong acting, the realism behind it all just breath-taking – it really does make you want to address your own life.

Aside from the seriousness of the film, there are a few laugh out loud moments too.  One of them being where Bob takes Charlotte to the hospital and whilst he’s in the waiting room, a little old man is talking to him in Japanese and Bob is trying his hardest to understand him.  If you look closely, the two actresses sat behind them are giggling to each other as this is happening, and it does make me wonder if that whole scene was actually scripted.  The scene where Murray acts out his advert is also fun, as he does what he does best with his quirky remarks and funny facial expressions – he really is one of the best out there when it comes to dry humour.

Let’s not take anything away from Johansson’s performance, who captures the emotion really well throughout the whole film and her and Murray have a great on-screen chemistry.  Some would have said that Murray playing the handsome man in a leading role would never have worked, but he certainly puts those doubters to bed in this film.  How he never won the Oscar is beyond me.  The ending really does leave you wanting more and left me highly frustrated, but it was a nice cliff hanger to end on.  It was just lovely.


  1. Really should get around to seeing this. Might be a little difficult as my g/f hates Bill Murray for some reason!

  2. Lauren Coupe says:

    She doesn’t like Bill Murray!? Oh my word! That’s a criminal offence isn’t it? 😛

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