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Lost in Translation

Starring: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi, and Anna Faris
Directed/written by: Sofia Coppola

Lost in Translation is a witty laugh out-loud tale of friendship. Written and directed by Sofia Coppola, and starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, with electric bits by ah-dorable Giovanni Ribisi and Anna Faris, the film manages to play as real as life itself and yet be other-plainly at the very same time. And this talent Sofia takes no stereotypical punches; the arc doesn't include copulation and fantastical inappropriate age matchings - like oh-so-many older leading man films - and the end is not telegraphed. And she cast the furiously underrated Bill Murray in the leading dramatic role. Though fear not, Billy's given plenty of time to "Murray" up the scenes.

Story goes…American movie star Bob Harris (Bill Murray) is checked into a swanky hotel in Toyko, Japan. He is there to get paid a ridiculous amount of money to promote Suntory scotch©. He also happens to be on the brink of his mid-life crisis.

Meanwhile fellow hotel guest, Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) is there with her hip hot photographer husband (Giovanni Ribisi). Her mate is affectionate but preoccupied. She's drifting into the wading pool of self-doubt towards the deep end by the "where-is-my-life-going" zone.

She and the movie star meet and strike up one of those foreign land friendships. And Tokyo is a foreign land to be sure. The city is bursting with colors, stripes, Day-Glo splashes and logos. Willy Wonka could get wheezy here! It's consumerism in a frenzy and makes say, Times Square, look like a cozy hamlet in comparison.

As the two grow closer and share special moments of friendship commingled with desire, they must stop and think about the reality of the situation and life outside of this Candy Land-like world.

Lost in Translation is a mature and sweetly honest tale of life. And thanks to the multi-level abilities of Bill Murray to effortlessly deliver subtle comedy, in some otherwise seriously tense moments within life's moments, the film rises far above the crowd of dramatic slices of what is. Of course there's plenty of hilarity scripted as hilarity too. Sofia manages to let the serious actor in Murray out-shine the comic actor in Bill Murray - what a feat. Her direction is always just right. Whether it's holding the beat or snapping an edit, her "eye" is clearly sharp for the medium.

Scarlett Johansson is so comfortable in the role you forget your watching a film at times. This young actor has only just begun to show her talents! Keep an eye out for anything with her name on it.

Bluntly Speaking? Whatever the nepotistic value of Lost in Translation's production (there's multiple Coppolas hidden whithin its frames...), I assure you this is a fantabulous film. Bravo Bella! Lost in Translation tells a story without judging, or whacking you over the head with its "message" which, to me, is life and its various paths is hard to explain and if we tried? It would just get lost in the translation.

Snack recommendation: Suntory scotch© and steak tar tar

NOW ON DVD -- Order now and SAVE
DVD Features:

  • A conversation with director Sofia Coppola and actor Bill Murray
  • "Lost on Location" - behind-the-scenes featurette including exclusive footage shot by the filmmakers
  • Deleted scenes
  • "Matthew's Best Hit TV" - an extended version of the Japanese TV show
  • Music video
  • Trailers
  • Widescreen anamorphic format

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