Jm and I finally sat down and watched Lost in Translation; we had heard mixed reviews from friends and relatives that had watched it. After watching all 100+ minutes of it, I can understand why reviews are mixed. The film is high on style but not necessarily on substance.
Sofia Coppola goes for too many artsy/indie shots where you are supposed to feel the isolation the characters are going through. This can be effective when you have a decent story backing up the visuals. LiT did not quite have a decent story in place and felt more like a travelogue about Japanese night life and hotels.
Bill Murray definitely made this film; he gave a brilliant performance from start to finish. Scarlett Johansen did not particularly impress me, as her performance seemed identical to the other roles I’ve seen her in. Apart from two moments, she seems perpetually bored throughout the entire film. Whether this is the result of her acting abilities or the material she had to work with I will leave up to personal opinion.
Contrast her performance with Murray’s; you can connect with Murray’s character from beginning to end. From the instant he hits the cab and sees his face on a billboard, you can feel this sense of dread and depression hanging about him. As he moves through the film, you can feel him taking energy from Charlotte’s character, taking that energy and trying to reclaim some happiness.
Charlotte’s character just came off, as the typical person who probably always had money, went to college on daddy’s dime, and never really had to think about life. At the end of the film, little seems to have changed in her.
Overall, it was a decent film worth watching once; not sure it deserved all the critical acclaim for its story, but that’s just my 10 yen.