translations

Sunday, December 12th, 2004

Susan and I finally got the chance to watch Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation this weekend. I thought it was a wonderful film, brilliantly edited, acted, and crisply told. I find that I like Bill Murray because he’s the kind of guy everyone thinks they know and he’s great at grabbing the audience, but in this film he “went beyond” what I’ve known of him. Scarlett Johansson grew on me too although it took a while to ground her in the story. We wondered, however, how the film would go over in Japan, since “language” and the alienation of space and self plays such a role in the film’s conflict.

Bob and Charlotte are in bed together, two strangers not so strangers, one young, the other mid-life, met by chance. They talk. She asks about her future, wondering if things get easier. He reflects on irrevocable change: what happens when the children come and more. Their brief time in Tokyo is sleepless until this moment. He touches her foot. They sleep. The story comes together in this scene like a soundless explosion. Bob and Charlotte meet “by chance” and that’s all that matters.


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