Sofia Coppola: A Name of Her Own

Lost in Translation

Sofia CoppolaUSA102 minutes2003PGColourEnglish

Dec 9
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A massive critical and commercial hit, Coppola's second feature received four Oscar nominations and garnered its writer-director the statue for Best Original Screenplay. Bill Murray cemented his career renaissance with his performance as fading Hollywood star Bob Harris, who has come to Tokyo for a lucrative but soul-sucking endorsement campaign for a Japanese whiskey. Cooped up in his hotel room between commercial shoots and late-night TV appearances and morosely pondering What It's All About, Bob finds an unlikely soulmate in Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), a Yale graduate whose workaholic filmmaker husband (Giovanni Ribisi) has left her to her own devices. The two strangers develop an intimate bond as they wrestle with sleep deprivation, shallow acquaintances, the loveless banality of their respective marriages, and their curiosity towards a culture that seems both alien and somehow superior to their own. The film's memorable finale — a farewell conveyed in inaudible whispers — reaffirmed Coppola's talent for creating affecting emotional clarity via narrative elision.