Lost in Translation

Directed by Sofia Coppola

> > Dec 2003

Lost in Translation - Directed by Sofia Coppola
By Noel DixOne of the most memorable cinematic love stories in recent history is also one of the more unconventional, and yet it is far more believable than the majority of Hollywood's attempts at tugging on your heartstrings. The affair between Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) and the much-older Bob (Bill Murray) is completely innocent and it's for this reason that their chemistry seems so realistic and beautiful, as the pair find each other in Tokyo, with Bob struggling with the culture and Charlotte battling her mixed-emotions for her work-obsessed husband (Giovanni Ribisi). The amount of detail and effort Sofia Coppola put into crafting this love story is the key to the success of Lost in Translation, as we follow every step of Bob and Charlotte's time together, and there's no doubt that these two have made a strong connection, thankfully due to their bouts of insomnia. The script is rather light but it's effective, and the long scenes with absent dialogue make for stunning cinematography, which is set to a lush soundtrack, as well there are highly-amusing opportunities for Murray to improvise with the locals. Lost in Translation is a simply gorgeous film. The extras contained on the DVD are compiled with as much simplicity as the film itself, lumping the somewhat sparse but worthy extras all in one section. The most notable bonus is the 30-minute home video footage of behind-the-scenes material, some shot by Coppola's then-husband Spike Jonze. This is the way all making-ofs should be carried out, as you get a sense of being on set with the cast and crew, and you truly get to see how much fun those involved had in Japan. You can't help but smile at Coppola's balance of excitement and disbelief at having Bill Murray arrive in Tokyo, or the numerous attempts on the comedian's part to keep the crew laughing with his "Making Out in Japan" translations. Also included is the entire Matthew's Best Hit TV show, in which we get to see what's behind the cover of Bob's oddball surprise, as well as other puzzling interactions. There are a few deleted scenes, including another visual discovery for Charlotte, as she is greeted by some rather spooky robotic children, as well as a nice phone call from bed between our two leads. The extended press conference with Anna Faris can be skipped, however. Sadly there's no commentary from the soft-spoken Coppola or anyone else involved with the film, but we do get a brief conversation with the director and Bill Murray on a rooftop, in which Murray confesses that Lost in Translation is his favourite film that he's worked on in his incredible career. Plus: Kevin Shield's "City Girl" music video. (Alliance Atlantis)

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Latest Issue: Dec 03 Issue