Lost In Translation (2003) Review

The story of an unlikely bond of a man and woman after crossing paths in Tokyo

One of my best friends came to me yesterday after starting her own blog( ), and she asked me “would you like to collaborate on a post of the 50 films that inspire you to want to travel.” Immediately I said yes, as not only am I fascinated with films, I don’t know if you could tell that from my reviews…or for those who know me in real life. But I was super excited to actually do a collaboration post with someone else. I think its also worth noting, that Sara, the lady who started the blog and my collaborator on this list, is a huge film fan herself and has shown me a lot of really unique horror flicks that I’ve then showed other people. So we talk about film a lot anyways, now we just make it public for you to read.

So we have a list of 50 films, and the goal is to write a small blurb on each one, not about the movie details that I usually go in to. But about why these films make us want to travel, what do these films make us want to explore, if anything.

But, I wanted to do a semi longer review for two films, like my usual style of reviewing movies. So I’m going to start with Lost In Translation (2003) and I’m going to review one more film from last year called The Revenant (2015). I wanted to give some more meat to these films, because one of was first time watch, yeah only watched it last night. And the other I had no interest really in, until Sara told me to watch it, and that “I needed to see it NOW.” So with that, lets get right into it.

I’ve heard people talk about Lost In Translation for years. I never really understood the insane amount of hype it received, but I was also 12 or 13 when it came out, so what did I know I was just a shit head teenager who didn’t appreciate film as much. So it took me 13 years to watch, the craze has died down, and my knowledge and appreciation of film has heightened.

Lost in Translation came out in 2003, and it was about a faded movie star and a neglected young woman form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo. What follows is a very different, very wonderful story about the bond of friendship.

The film was directed and written by Sofia Coppola. Her other films where she was both the writer and director are The Virgin Suicides (1999), Marie Antoinette (2006), Somewhere (2010), The Bling Ring (2013) and she collaborated with Bill Murray and Mitch Glazer for the 2015 film – A Very Murray Christmas. She has a new film due to be released in 2017 called the Beguiled that sound excellent, its about a union soldier held captive in a confederate girl boarding school, and begins to con himself to each of their hearts. Sounds like a super interesting film, so keep an eye out!

I’ve always liked how Sofia Coppola directs and writes her films, they’re always real. She writes real characters, and bases them in real life events. Nothing seems to far fetched in her movies, they all seem grounded in reality. In some ways, I even enjoyed her film The Bling Ring (2013), I didn’t watch it because she directed it, but Emma Watson was in it, and yeah, it needed to be done. The movie’s premise was kind of dumb, but it was based on a true story. After it was done I shut it off, and I was like “This actually happened? this is too ridiculous and far fetched to happen, it seems almost like a fairy tale. Sure enough after googling around, this all happened, and these teenagers actually committed all these crimes. I’m quite sure there was more to it for dramatic effect, but yeah the essence of the film it happened.

Sofia Coppola is a very capable director, she is very good at placing the camera at weird angles through a doorway, or following her actors through the busy, busy streets of Tokyo. Her films always have a unique look about them too, I don’t know if she uses a similar filter, or something, but each one of her films looks darker, like the black and whites are very subtle, but the colours pop. I would like to go back and watch her other films, after my faith being restored with Lost in Translation, and not just going off the ridiculous, but mildly entertaining The Bling Ring. You could say that I see the light and I’m a fan.

I think where this movie shines the most, other than the smart writing, is in the form of the two main actors. The first is Scarlett Johansson who played Charlotte. Johansson’s filmography is everywhere, she’s done everything I think. But her other films consist of Home Alone 3 (1997), Ghost World (2001), The Perfect Score (2004), The Island (2005), The Prestige (2006), Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008), The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), He’s Just Not That Into You (2009), Iron Man 2 (2010), The Avengers (2012), Under the Skin (2013), Don Jon (2013), Her (2013), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Hail Caesar! (2016), The Jungle Book(2016) and Captain America: Civil War (2016). I know thats a lot of films, but I wanted to show you how many films she’s been in, and that she’s not just a one trick pony. But I can honestly say, I liked her in other roles, like she is Black Widow now, and is wonderful at that. But I loved her in Lost In Translation. I thought she did a fantastic job, it wasn’t over the top acting, I felt like I was watching a really well made and shot documentary. She was just lovely, and I’m surprised that she wasn’t nominated for an oscar in this role.

The other main actor is the man, the myth, the legend – Bill Murray. If you don’t know who Bill Murray is, then I think its safe to say, you may want to watch more movies, or start with his big films out of his vast filmography and work your way forward! His filmography consists of (And I won’t list all his films because you’d be reading for a while) – Caddyshack (1980), Stripes (1981), Ghostbusters (1984), Scrooged (1988), Ghostbusters II (1989), Groundhog Day (1993), Ed Wood (1994), Space Jam (1996), Charlie’s Angels (2000), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), Moonrise Kingdom (2012), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), The Monuments Men (2014), St. Vincent (2014). I’ve always loved Bill Murray, his humour is always very subtle and nonchalant. But he is a brilliant actor, and I thought that he was fantastic in Lost in Translation. He played a man who didn’t really understand what was going on around him, and through his day to day interaction and life in Tokyo, he is lost and we are lost with him. He did such a good job, that he was nominated for best actor that year for his portrayal of Bob in Lost in Translation.

My favourite part of the movie was the amazing chemistry that Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson had, they were the best part of the movie and you could tell that it was a special project they worked on together.

My only negative about the film is that in the middle I kind of lost interest in what was going on in the film, I started to move around a bit more and I would check my phone and IMDb for trivia about the movie. But this film demands a re-watch which will happen sooner than later.

My final review of Lost In Translation is 4.5/5.

Give this movie a watch, now that the craze has died down, its a wonderful story and it is definitely wonderfully directed and written and acted. Its an excellent film, and I can’t say too much more about it.

**to tie it into the list of 50 films that made us want to travel**

I wanted to visit Tokyo before, but after watching this film and seeing these two people just get lost in it, and being a part of it, and learning new things and being confused with the Japanese way of life, I can say that I really want to go now. It seems like a completely different place than anywhere I’ve ever seen before. I even experienced some of the culture shock, and I wasn’t even there. This movie made me want to go and explore Tokyo for what it is, and hopefully experience some of the things that Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson’s characters experienced in this lovely film. Maybe I would cross paths with someone and form an unlikely bond of friendship. But after this movie, Tokyo is definitely on my bucket list for places to go visit.

Until Next Time!


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