Unlike many of her contemporaries Sofia Coppola writer and director of both The Virgin Suicides and Lost In Translation appears focused upon making films that are honest, acutely observational and believable.
It’s testimony to her apparent refusal to indulge viewers’ expectations or resort to Hollywood contrivances that Lost In Translation is immeasurably more genuine and charming than the majority of thoughtless films that Hollywood churns out.
Coppola also makes sure to give her actors freedom to perform, unlike many heavy-handed Hollywood directors. And it pays off brilliantly as Bill Murray gives what is the most reserved and understated performance of his career, but also his absolute finest.
Scarlett Johansson is an actress who is also currently on top form. With a truly intoxicating screen presence she produces a complex yet delightfully genuine performance.
The central characters, Bob and Charlotte, find that they themselves, not only their communication, are lost in translation, lost in a foreign country, unable to sleep and bewildered by Japanese customs.
The cinematography is certainly inventive and the flash cuts between scenes (which in isolation would appear to be of little importance) highlight this unstable dreamlike state that they find themselves in.
Only when they find each other and become soul mates of a sort do they begin to re-evaluate their lives and start to find new perspective through their relationship.
Ultimately they share more with each other over whiskey and cigarettes than they ever could in bed.
4.5 out of 5 stars
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