Many thanks to everybody who has followed this series of posts on my blog. I’ve been honoured to have such a great response from both contributors and readers – thank you all very much! To finish up here’s a review of Lost in Translation written by myself.
Lost in Translation is one of my all time favourite films. It’s a story of two people (Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson) who independently travel to Tokyo, there they meet in a hotel and form an unusual friendship as they together attempt to work through their loneliness, confusions, and insomnia. Sweepingly romantic, the film explores these two characters in some detail through the use of a fantastic score, beautiful cinematography, and a lightness of touch which allows it to be both funny and moving in equal measure.
Aside from how well made this is it’s hard to pin down specific reasons as to why Tarantino rates it so highly. Presumably this wouldn’t influence him too much but he did date its director Sofia Coppola and so there is a connection there. The only tangible one that I can see though is that he too made a film set largely in Japan (Kill Bill), and that both of those have a side character named Charlie Brown in reference to the comic strip. Not the most convincing of links, although they were both dating and releasing their respective films in 2003 – so maybe it’s a subtle shared reference?
Anyway, the performances given here are both really excellent. Murray of course delivers the humour one would expect from him, but he also grounds his character in a slight listlessness and the combination is very effective. Johansson is relatively early on into her career but is arguably at her best here, switching between portraying disillusionment and eagerness with a natural ease. Both characters are potentially rather unlikeable but under the hands of these two actors, as well as Coppola’s direction, they manage to charm and affect us to the point where re-watching this film feels to me like revisiting old friends.
Lost in Translation is often described as being without plot, as a film where nothing much happens and perhaps to some degree that is true. However I see nothing wrong with taking the time out to focus on the development of a relationship. It’s handled so very well here that time seems to fly by as you watch the movie, the developing connection between these two people worms its way into your memory and doesn’t easily let go. Quentin, I have failed to spot many connections between this and your work but you certainly do have good taste. This is a marvellous film and is one which I can easily spend a great deal of time with.
Let me know what you think below by leaving a comment! Thanks for reading!