Reel Freak

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Reel Review – Lost in Translation (2003)

LOST IN TRANSLATIONDirector: Sofia Coppola
Rated: R
Release Date: October 3rd, 2003
Starring: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson

It isn’t too often that a film with such a simple, straight-forward story can have such an effect on audiences.  Lost in Translation is one of the rare exceptions.  Directed by Sofia Coppola and starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, Lost in Translation is a comedy-drama that hits home with the story of two people who try to conquer their problems by simply enjoying each other’s company.

Bob Harris (Murray) is an American actor who is experiencing the downslide of his career, as well as his marriage.  He travels to Tokyo, Japan to star in a TV commercial, where he meets Charlotte (Johansson); a neglected young wife who is there accompanying his husband on his business trip.  While Charlotte stays behind in their hotel while her husband is working, she meets Bob in the hotel bar, where they get along instantly.  Together, they experience the life of Americans visiting Japan, forgetting their lives at home and finding solace in each others’ company.


The story here is very memorable.  I really enjoyed the perspective used of showing people struggling in a country whose culture and language is completely new to them.  The dialog is also spot-on, with very believable scenes of characters interacting with each other.

Bill Murray gives one of the best performances of his career in this film.  His more serious side is reflected here, but is well-balanced with his widely-recognized humor, presented in a very subtle yet hilarious manner.  His performance earned him an Oscar nomination and Golden Globe win for Best Leading Actor in 2004.

Scarlett Johansson also shines bright in the movie.  One of the earlier films in her career, this is definitely one that launched her into the acting career she has today.  Her quiet, innocent character who is unsure of her place in the world is really great to watch.  Scar-Jo’s performance also earned her a Golden Globe nom for Best Actress.


Overall, the things that work best for Lost in Translation:

  • Lovable, relatable characters experiencing a country they’ve never visited before
  • Great pace and quality of its 1hr 40min runtime
  • Bill Murray’s humor, and also a very diverse role of his comedic-natured career
  • An early role for Scarlett Johansson who really showcases her talent as an actress
  • A story that is so simple that all you have to do is sit back and enjoy what the film has to offer

Give Lost in Translation a watch if you’re looking for a memorable, good-hearted movie.  It’s currently available to stream on Netflix.

My Reel Rating – 8.0/10

Written by Josh Sazin on January 22nd, 2014


2 comments on “Reel Review – Lost in Translation (2003)

  1. aworldoffilm
    January 22, 2014

    Great film.

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This entry was posted on January 22, 2014 by in Reel Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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