I love Sofia Coppola. She is one of my favourite directors. In a sea of male directors, Sofia has become well respected in her profession. Sofia has, like many brilliant directors, her own style that is instantly recognisable. You know you are watching one of her films.
As visually beautiful as Ms Coppola’s films are, I love her focus on her characters too. Of all her work, I think, personally, this is truest in the exemplary Lost in Translation.
Starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johanssen, and set in Tokyo, this has a winning formula from the start.
Two bored and lonely individuals, Charlotte, newly married and pottering about in the hotel she is staying in whilst her husband (a photographer, played by Giovanni Ribisi) goes off to work, and Bob, an ageing action movie star staying in Tokyo to film a commercial, form an unlikely friendship. They set about exploring Tokyo and turning their time there into an adventure, whilst getting to know one another.
Bob: It gets a whole lot more complicated when you have kids.
Charlotte: It’s scary.
Bob: The most terrifying day of your life is the day the first one is born.
Charlotte: Nobody ever tells you that.
Bob: Your life, as you know it…is gone. Never to return. But they learn how to walk, and they learn how to talk…and you want to be with them. And they turn out to be the most delightful people you will ever meet in your life.
Charlotte: That’s nice.
I love seeing Scarlett in a non-sexpot role for a change. She is a great actress and gets to show this through Charlotte. I love Bill Murray as a comic actor, but he is wonderful as Bob, bringing a vulnerability and sensitivity to him, proving what a great serious actor Bill is too.
There are some truly touching moments in the film, none more so than the ending, which is not clichéd either.
Lost in Translation is essentially a non-traditional love story. A non-chick flick, chick flick for the more discerning film lover.
Lost in Translation: 2003