Friday, June 14, 2013

Movie Review - Lost in Translation (2003)

Two Americans in different periods of their lives find themselves lost under the flickering neon lights of Tokyo.  Bob Harris (Bill Murray), an over the hill actor, is shooting photos for a Japanese whiskey ad campaign.  Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) is staying at the same hotel with her working husband (Giovanni Ribisi), a photographer.  When Bob meets Charlotte, an unlikely relationship begins to unfold.

Despite the significant age difference between the two protagonists, they have many things in common.  Bob is on the outside of his movie career looking in while simultaneously trying to keep his 25 year marriage afloat.  Charlotte is still looking for something to be passionate about after finishing college.  Her husband is too busy with his work to notice.  Both characters are at the tail end of eras in their lives, confused and uncertain.    

The state of the main characters may lead one to assume that this film is melancholic.  It is contrarily humorous and heartfelt.  Bob tends to stumble onto many misunderstandings because of the language barrier and his tall figure.  While shooting the scene where Bob is in the studio for the whiskey commercial, writer/director Sophia Coppola had to cover her mouth because she was laughing so hard.

After Bob and Charlotte meet, they move through the city with new eyes, enjoying the surroundings together.  Japan offers many unique experiences, but maybe it's all meaningless without someone to share it with.  Whether you are in your mid 20s or pushing a midlife crisis, Lost in Translation offers emotions we can all relate to.

Lost in Translation is currently available for stream on Netflix.

Rated R for some sexual content


  1. Regarding the relation betweenj the input students receive in the target language and the outcame, Chaudron(1988) states that the typical foreign language classroom,the common belief is that the fullest competence in the TL (target language) is achieved by means of the teacher providing a rich TL environment, in which not only instruction online translation and drills are executed in the TL, but also disciplinary and management operations.