Lost In Translation (2003): “For relaxing times, make it Suntory time.”

Lost_in_Translation_posterDirector Sophia Coppola’s second feature film, Lost In Translation (2003) is a story of loneliness, feeling lost, and finding oneself within the context of a foreign ‘other’; whether that is the foreign landscape of Tokyo, or an unknown and unpredictable future. Whilst in Tokyo, jaded movie star, Bob Harris (Bill Murray) is recording an advertisement for a whiskey company, whilst Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) wanders about, trying to find her purpose whilst her partner works as a photographer. When the two meet, they forge an unlikely bond.

Say what you like about Sofia Coppola, she knows how to create a beautiful-looking film. The Virgin Suicides (1999) is gorgeous, and I’ve also previously waxed lyrical about Marie Antoinette (2006), a visual confection of a film that looks amazing but was a bit light on story for some. Lost In Translation, on the other hand, contains a very nice balance between visual escapism and intriguing story and character development. Bill Murray is as charming as always, and Scarlett Johansson puts in a very memorable performance indeed. But like the rest of Coppola’s films, what I really love about Lost In Translation is its cinematography. And in true Coppola style, it also has an excellent soundtrack.

What I most love about the direction and cinematography of Lost In Translation is that it didn’t go for the most obvious way of representing the bright lights of Tokyo on screen. The neon lights of the city could have easily been illustrated in their true, blindingly bright colours, but instead cinematographer Lance Acord opts for a dimmed, muted blue-toned colour scheme that speaks to the way our protagonists feel in the moments of the film. The film is highly introspective, reflecting upon relationships with others and with the world in which one resides. In this way, the muted colours make sense, showing the characters’ interpretation of their surroundings – alienating, confronting, overwhelming?

Here is a selection of my favourite shots from Lost In Translation, mixed up so as not to spoil the general storyline.

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4/5
Watch the trailer here.

8 comments

  1. One of my favourite films and one of the reasons I went to Japan on holiday a couple of years ago 🙂

    You’ve picked some beautiful images!

    1. This film is such great inspiration for travelling throughout Japan! I always fall in love with the place when watching this even though I haven’t ever been before.

  2. Best film ever….

    1. Such a great film. Definitely one of Sofia Coppola’s best!

  3. You have made me weirdly nostalgic for this movie!

    1. Aw! It’s funny because this film makes me feel weirdly nostalgic for Japan, but I’ve never even been before.

  4. Stunning post, makes me want to see it again. Love your use of images.

  5. richardalaba · · Reply

    I loved this film and enjoyed reading your review. Its the kind of film that keeps coming back into your mind over and over. You are welcome to read my take on it at https://richardalaba.wordpress.com/2015/12/22/film-review-lost-in-translation-2010/

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