LOST IN TRANSLATION

Content -3
Quality
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Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: September 12, 2003

Starring: Bill Murray, Scarlett
Johansson, Giovani Ribisi, and
Anna Faris

Genre: Comedy

Audience: Older teenagers and
adults REVIEWER: Dr. Tom
Snyder Sofia Coppola, the
daughter of Francis Ford
Coppola, the director of THE
GODFATHER movies, actually
appeared in a major role in
the third GODFATHER movie. She
is now a director in her own
right and won her share of
critical acclaim for her first
movie, THE VIRGIN SUICIDES.
Her second movie, LOST IN
TRANSLATION, starring comic
genius Bill Murray, is another
accomplished work, though it's
not without its flaws. In the
story, Murray plays Bob
Harris, a popular movie star
who arrives in Tokyo to shoot
a series of whiskey
commercials. Harris feels
completely out of place among
the Japanese, however. Worse
yet, jet lag has brought on an
unquenchable bout of insomnia,
so he spends his time swimming
in the pool, watching TV and
drinking in the bar. Harris
finds a companion in
Charlotte, a young woman also
suffering from insomnia whose
husband is working feverishly
on a long photo shoot with
some rock stars. Both Harris
and Charlotte feel cut off
from their spouses, and they
find they share a wry,
slightly cynical approach to
the crazy people and
situations around them. A
strong friendship ensues, and,
though both are attracted to
one another, nothing really
happens between them except
for a passionate goodbye
kiss. LOST IN TRANSLATION is
about a man and a woman who
have much in common
intellectually, but are
separated in age. At times,
the movie seems to pose
questions about the nature of
human feelings and how those
feelings should or should not
be expressed. Beyond the
romantic tension between the
lead characters, however,
there are scenes where the two
just share a good time
exploring the strange city
landscape and where the older
man talks to the younger woman
as a mentor or substitute
father figure. For example,
when Charlotte questions
Harris about married life,
Harris, who has been married
for 25 years, tells her that
it doesn't get any easier. The
most entertaining, fun parts
of this movie are when Bill
Murray applies his usual
understated comic approach to
the people and situations
around his character, or when
he's joking with Charlotte and
her Japanese friends. Though
the movie avoids the modern
Hollywood cliché of the
May-September love affair,
it's clear that the older man
is working hard not to take
advantage of his relationship
with Charlotte. Eventually,
however, his isolation drives
him to commit adultery with
the terrible lounge singer at
the hotel. Sofia Coppola is
clearly a talented filmmaker,
but her first two movies avoid
the classic three-act
structure that most great
movies possess. Both VIRGIN
SUICIDES and LOST IN
TRANSLATION are modern
character studies rather than
dramatic stories having a
beginning, middle, and an end.
Thus, while it's always nice
to see Bill Murray in a good,
well-defined role, LOST IN
TRANSLATION does not fully
succeed. It seems to lack a
dramatic premise that carries
the story through to a
convincing, captivating
climax. Finally, although the
movie does not endorse
adultery, it flirts with the
subject. In doing this, it
includes a couple scenes with
sexual content, plus nudity,
especially one scene where
Charlotte's Japanese friends
have Harris and Charlotte meet
them at a Japanese strip club.
Please address your comments
to: David Linde and James
Schamus Co-President Focus
Features 100 North Crescent
Drive, Garden Level Beverly
Hills, CA 90210 Phone: (310)
385-4000 Fax: (310)
385-4408 Website:
www.focusfeatures.com

Rating: R

Runtime: 102 minutes

Distributor: Focus Features

Director: Sofia Coppola

Executive Producer:

Producer: Ross Katz and Sofia
Coppola EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS:
Francis Ford Coppola and Fred
Roos

Writer: Sofia Coppola

Address Comments To:

Content:

(H, Pa, L, V, SS, NN, A, D, M) Humanist worldview about an unrequited relationship between two people married to others, including woman visits pagan Buddhist ritual performed in Japanese and gets nothing out of it; six obscenities and two light profanities; brief slapstick violence as woman falls and rolls around on floor; implied adultery, married man kisses married woman goodbye and whispers something unheard in her ear, and nude dancers at club dance suggestively; upper and rear female nudity and upper male nudity; alcohol use; smoking; and, married leads are emotionally estranged from their families.

GENRE: Comedy

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NN

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Summary:

LOST IN TRANSLATION stars comic actor Bill Murray as a popular movie star who finds a female friend while visiting Tokyo, Japan. Bill Murray is very entertaining, but the story lacks a dramatic premise, and the movie contains some sexual elements and nudity, although the affair between the leading couple remains unrequited, except for one passionate goodbye kiss.

Review:

Sofia Coppola, the daughter of Francis Ford Coppola, the director of THE GODFATHER movies, actually appeared in a major role in the third GODFATHER movie. She is now a director in her own right and won her share of critical acclaim for her first movie, THE VIRGIN SUICIDES. Her second movie, LOST IN TRANSLATION, starring comic genius Bill Murray, is another accomplished work, though it's not without its flaws.

In the story, Murray plays Bob Harris, a popular movie star who arrives in Tokyo to shoot a series of whiskey commercials. Harris feels completely out of place among the Japanese, however. Worse yet, jet lag has brought on an unquenchable bout of insomnia, so he spends his time swimming in the pool, watching TV and drinking in the bar.

Harris finds a companion in Charlotte, a young woman also suffering from insomnia whose husband is working feverishly on a long photo shoot with some rock stars. Both Harris and Charlotte feel cut off from their spouses, and they find they share a wry, slightly cynical approach to the crazy people and situations around them. A strong friendship ensues, and, though both are attracted to one another, nothing really happens between them except for a passionate goodbye kiss.

LOST IN TRANSLATION is about a man and a woman who have much in common intellectually, but are separated in age. At times, the movie seems to pose questions about the nature of human feelings and how those feelings should or should not be expressed. Beyond the romantic tension between the lead characters, however, there are scenes where the two just share a good time exploring the strange city landscape and where the older man talks to the younger woman as a mentor or substitute father figure. For example, when Charlotte questions Harris about married life, Harris, who has been married for 25 years, tells her that it doesn't get any easier.

The most entertaining, fun parts of this movie are when Bill Murray applies his usual understated comic approach to the people and situations around his character, or when he's joking with Charlotte and her Japanese friends. Though the movie avoids the modern Hollywood cliché of the May-September love affair, it's clear that the older man is working hard not to take advantage of his relationship with Charlotte. Eventually, however, his isolation drives him to commit adultery with the terrible lounge singer at the hotel.

Sofia Coppola is clearly a talented filmmaker, but her first two movies avoid the classic three-act structure that most great movies possess. Both VIRGIN SUICIDES and LOST IN TRANSLATION are modern character studies rather than dramatic stories having a beginning, middle, and an end. Thus, while it's always nice to see Bill Murray in a good, well-defined role, LOST IN TRANSLATION does not fully succeed. It seems to lack a dramatic premise that carries the story through to a convincing, captivating climax.

Finally, although the movie does not endorse adultery, it flirts with the subject. In doing this, it includes a couple scenes with sexual content, plus nudity, especially one scene where Charlotte's Japanese friends have Harris and Charlotte meet them at a Japanese strip club.

Please address your comments to:

David Linde and James Schamus

Co-President

Focus Features

100 North Crescent Drive, Garden Level

Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Phone: (310) 385-4000

Fax: (310) 385-4408

Website: www.focusfeatures.com

SUMMARY: LOST IN TRANSLATION stars comic actor Bill Murray as a popular movie star who finds a female friend while visiting Tokyo, Japan. Bill Murray is very entertaining, but the story lacks a dramatic premise, and the movie contains some sexual elements and nudity, although the affair between the leading couple remains unrequited, except for one passionate goodbye kiss.

In Brief: