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With LOST IN TRANSLATION, Sofia Coppola has grown in leaps and bounds from her debut feature film as director. Don’t get me wrong, I love THE VIRGIN SUICIDES… That film holds what I consider to be Kirsten Dunst’s best work to date as well as Josh Hartnett’s best work. It was a very very accomplished film and one that I wish I had seen on screen.

This time, I was taking no chances. The second the rep for the film emailed me the press release on LOST IN TRANSLATION, I began work setting up a screening for me. It was important for me to see this film early, before it began its scheduled platform releasing schedule, because I prefer to get the word out there to all of you on quality films way before they pass you by.

LOST IN TRANSLATION is absolutely and completely satisfying on every possible level. I’m gaga in love with this film. This is the best BILL MURRAY movie period in my opinion. Bill owns this film. Well, co-owns it with Scarlett Johansson. Let me start at the beginning…

It begins with the most wonderful opening shot of a film I’ve seen in years. It’s impossible to describe the beauty of this shot or the resonance it brought out of me, butt it definitely took my breath away. You’ll just have to see it for yourself, I won’t spoil it.

The film centers around two characters stuck at a Tokyo Hotel on business. Bill Murray is an aging actor from Hollywood… in an odd way he reminded me of Burt Reynolds throughout the film… that is at that point in his life where the marriage is loveless and the travel and exotic things in life are just dead. He does his work at the set, dashingly dressed in a Tuxedo while huckstering a Whisky product. He loathes it all. When he returns to the hotel from set, he’s alone. He isn’t really tired, the work isn’t exhausting, but he’s just bored. Bored not just with the situation, but with life itself.

Meanwhile, we’re also introduced to Scarlett Johansson’s Charlotte, a young intelligent beautiful blooming flower of a lady married to a self-absorbed and busy young photographer played by Giovanni Ribisi. Charlotte tries to take in the sites of Tokyo, goes to a Buddhist monastery to listen to the chanting and feel something, but instead felt distant from it all. Her lonely wanderings are leaving no impressions, no resonance and this is scaring her. She’s mortified by how aware she is at how annoyed she is with things and how unaware her young husband is.

These early sequences of the film are wonderfully put together with a great deal of “fish out of water” humor of an American in Tokyo trying to figure out what anything means. The scene of Charlotte in the Tokyo arcade was surreal. Watching some guy beat a drum as noodles with arms, legs and eyes danced in the corner of his screen as bright lights flashed all over the screen was just… bizarre. This other guy that seeming was doing dance moves while playing a game that had no rhyme or reason to these Western eyes… and the Electric Guitar game… bizarre.

In fact, the third main star of the film is Tokyo and Japan as a culture. Japanese culture has always been fascinating to me and the more extreme weird stuff is just touched on here. More than even the culture, it is a film showing what it is like to be apart from that culture. That “stranger in a strange land” scenario. Traveling alone. There’s a strange thing that happens to you in the lap of luxury alone… you become bored out of your skull. The room service, massage, swimming pool, hotel bar, the lounge act and even the porn and free cable… it’s amazing how boring that gets. So you head out into the world, but are only constantly reminded that you can’t read the signs, you don’t understand the games, the food looks bizarre and you feel stupid, out of place and like the dumb American you may be.

That’s when Charlotte and Bill’s Bob Harris meet. It isn’t instant, and there isn’t an instant chemistry. They continually bump into each other… bored and seeking something or someone to connect with. As odd as it may seem, this 53 year old aging actor and 19 year old Philosophy graduate, well… at this hotel, for these 10 days… they’re entwined lost souls both needing a shoulder to lean on and an ear to bend.

I miss these characters. The second the film ended it was like being separated from those great people you met at a party, but forgot to exchange numbers… I knew I’d never have a new conversation with them again. That I wouldn’t get to know what happened next or where they went in their lives. I really didn’t want the movie to end, even though it ended perfectly. A friend of mine that I took to the screening, about 5 days later said to me, in regards to Murray and Johansson’s characters… “I really miss those guys.” EXACTLY. That is EXACTLY correct. I really miss these guys.

They play characters that I personally would love to chat endlessly with. People I’d love to have their phone numbers to add to the friends I already have. These are great characters, people and souls captured in Sofia’s script, camera and film.

As much as I love Bill Murray’s performance, I share with equal enthusiasm the love for Scarlett’s work. TWO AMAZING ACTORS that are just knocking it all out of the park.

This is why I didn’t miss Bill Murray in CHARLIE’S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE, this is the exact sort of work that he’s capable of when given the material. He does so much with little gestures, tiny things with his eyes, the shrugs and the glib delivery wry with irony. This is most like his work in RUSHMORE, only… this time the absurdist whimsy of Max Fischer isn’t constantly ripping us away from his character. Here, he is center stage with the amazing young lady and he dazzles.

Scarlett Johansson has now been in 3 great films. GHOST WORLD, THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE and LOST IN TRANSLATION. She is absolutely one of the most exciting and talented actresses working. In this film, you so want to take care of her, see that she’s given the attention she is so panging for. What an amazing strong young woman to see on screen.

However, both of these performances were guided with amazing patience and guile by Sofia Coppola. The long takes where she lets the characters find each other, trusting the actors to breath life into the stillness and quiet moments that we all have in our lives. Sofia is a tremendous talent. She isn’t just breathing full life into her women characters, but also texturing the men in this film with such honesty… that you wish to just join the characters on screen and spend more time with them.

To create a film with characters so alive, so filled with what it is to be human… it is something to celebrate. This is a great film, do not let it pass you by.

Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 14, 2003, 6:25 p.m. CST

    Bill Murray is good, but . . .

    by vikingkitty

    Until I hear good things from a reputable source (that being, someone who doesn't have an unholy hatred for Paul Anderson while enjoying the works of that hack Del Toro), I'm wary of this film.

  • Aug. 14, 2003, 6:26 p.m. CST

    Looks like I was first. How about that!

    by vikingkitty

    And I didn't even make a joke about "white stuff", or demand a talkback for WWE fans.

  • Aug. 14, 2003, 6:28 p.m. CST

    can't wait for this movie

    by howdyadam

    bill murray is the only good actor on earth ever. everyone else should just stop now no more done over gone none done over gone and not do that stuff anymore ever again

  • Aug. 14, 2003, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Cool... Saw the trailer for this

    by Russman

    was hoping that it was good. Thanks Harry.

  • Aug. 14, 2003, 6:59 p.m. CST

    "...because I prefer to get the word out there to all of you on

    by Kurutteru Yatsu

    Like Ichi the Killer, Harry? This sounds good, although what's so "bizarre" about bemani games I'm not sure. You've never heard of DDR? I've got a friend in Japan right now and he loves it because apparently "they can't get enough of the white meat." So they love chicken then, I guess. Last but not least, I'd like to say that on the topic of Bill Murray, he's a great choice to voice Garfield. Brecken Meyer as Jon though, did I read that right? Travesty. They needed for Brendan Fraser to lose some muscle or Steve Buscemi to get a little less err...rodent-y. But the guy from Road Trip? Feh.

  • Aug. 14, 2003, 7:01 p.m. CST

    I all for this film being good, it has everything going for it,

    by youdon'tknowshit

  • Aug. 14, 2003, 7:30 p.m. CST

    I've played the drum game, it rocks

    by qualopec

    Can't wait to see Bill in this.

  • Why Harry, because you feel better than us? Because we can't recognize quality films for ourselves? Because it emphasizes your priviliged position as a film geek? Nice, very nice.

  • Aug. 14, 2003, 7:58 p.m. CST

    Murray's character is called Bob Harris???

    by jimmythesaint

    Does he whisper?

  • Aug. 14, 2003, 8:05 p.m. CST

    To the guy who said pointing new movies out was arrogant

    by Lobanhaki

    Let me work out the logic: You come here for news, and then when Harry gives it to you, you complain? Look, if all that Harry did was tell you about the obvious movies, this site wouldn't be half as useful as it is. I want to hear about the good movies that misguided execs have let become obscured in the marketing for the big budget movies. I don't want to be in a state of constant oblivion about anything else than just what the entertainment companies have deemed is profitable for me know about. I want to know, and if you don't, well, in my honest opinion, elitist or not, I think you're missing something. And at least I don't go around claiming that I know about all the movies that would entertain me. I know there are interesting movies out there that aren't gargantuan action pics. So lets find out more. I mean, if there's one thing that people outside this country criticize us the most for, it's our state of ignorance about events outside our borders.

  • Aug. 14, 2003, 8:26 p.m. CST

    CQ, Virgin Suicides, The Conversation, Heart of Darkness...

    by overunder300

    You could have an all Coppola festival and never get the same director twice. What is the source material for "Lost in Translation"? Was it a book? Oh, and what the hell is this: ?

  • Aug. 14, 2003, 9:44 p.m. CST

    Traveling alone. There

    by Beddy Sidious

    That's what the hookers are for, numbnuts.

  • Aug. 14, 2003, 9:49 p.m. CST

    Hey, Sheeld -- yeah, I'm talkin' to you.

    by Johnny Ahab

    What's your beef with Harry highlighting good films in advance? Thanks to this site, I went to see the amazing little "TWO FAMILY HOUSE" a few years back on his rave, and it just blew me away. No stars in it, or billboards, or trailers on TV, but Harry's rave made me think "huh, maybe I should see this." Ditto for "GINGER SNAPS", which I was lucky enough to catch on its blink-or-you'll-miss-it two week late night run at the Cinema Village in NYC, and not the crappily edited Blockbuster version. The film ran in New York with NO ADS -- saw it listed on, and went "HOLY FUCK, it's in theaters right now! That cool chick werewolf movie I've heard Harry rave about on the site!" Same for "MAY" two months back, which this site pumped up as Lions Gate was in the process of dumping it into a dozen theaters for like two weeks, again with NO ADS. AICN got me there, and I enjoyed that film too. So let up with the attitude on the fat man, okay?? I'm personally happy to hear someone rave about a film I've not heard about, especially the smaller ones without the gazillion dollar marketing budget. (And I will get my ass to "BUBBA HOTEP" in Sept/Oct, thanks to this site's vigilant tub-thumbing on its behalf when it goes on its microbudget, non-studio-marketing, grass-roots campaign.) I don't agree with Harry on many of his big-budget raves, and he can annoy me many times -- but when he champions the smaller film, that's when this site is at its best. Count me in for "LOST IN TRANSLATION". THanks, Harry.

  • Aug. 14, 2003, 9:50 p.m. CST

    You see what Harry is doing here . . .

    by PumpyMcAss

    He lets loose his LOST IN TRANSLATION review right before he gives us his FREDDY VS JASON review so that he can please both the arthouse geeks and the fanboy geeks. Way to avoid alienating people, buddy.

  • Aug. 14, 2003, 10 p.m. CST

    by Admiral Nelson

    Jesus Christ, Harry -- for the one millionth time, proofread your reviews or get someone who can actually write and spell to proof them for you.

  • Aug. 14, 2003, 10:04 p.m. CST


    by WoodyStiffer

    "BUTT". It's okay to have an ass fetish.

  • Aug. 14, 2003, 10:31 p.m. CST

    Takashi Fujii...

    by Magus Darkstar

    ... will own you all.

  • Aug. 14, 2003, 10:50 p.m. CST

    MURRAY da MAN!!!

    by billsbunnie


  • Aug. 15, 2003, 1:03 a.m. CST

    This is slightly off-topic, but...has anyone noticed that the ne

    by heywood jablomie

    The trailer looks horrible. Looks like the Coens have tried as hard as possible to turn themselves into generic romantic-comedy hacks. It even looks hideous. Bleh!

  • Aug. 15, 2003, 2:57 a.m. CST

    The Lonely Flagpole, Last Vestige Of Civilization, Peeks Out Of

    by Ed McBain

    How very funny that Hackola has been surpased by his daughter in directing ability. Let's hope she doesn't make Jack Jr, though.

  • Aug. 15, 2003, 6:58 a.m. CST

    Exciting stuff

    by Heleno

    And maybe this'll put to rest the rumours that Sofia is jealous of Spike's success if it rocks this much. As for the Coens, am reasonably sure that the Intolerable Cruelty trailer is cut to look like a standard rom com. What on earth makes you think that the Coens are even capable of making a generic rom com? Tsk tsk - I find your lack of faith deeply disturbing. There are traces of a suggestion, even in the trailer, that Clooney's character is not a million miles from Everett Ulysses McGill, so for pete's sake reserve judgment.

  • Aug. 15, 2003, 7:28 a.m. CST

    How beautifully ironic..

    by Sheeld

    that a sarcastic comment such as mine gets, well.. Lost In Translation.

  • Aug. 15, 2003, 9:15 a.m. CST

    Amen Heleno . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    The Coens can't go wrong.

  • One directed possibly three of the best movies of recent years, and the other three of the worst. Harry loves Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia, Boogie Nights, Punch Drunk Love, Hard Eight) and has gone on record about that. He hates Paul Anderson (Resident Evil, Mortal Kombat, Soldier, Event Horizon), and for good reason.

  • Aug. 15, 2003, 9:37 a.m. CST

    Scarlett and the Coens'

    by brazilboy

    I gotta agree with Heleno. The Coens trailer looks interesting, Clooney does his best work with them and have they ever put a foot wrong? No. And Harry is right, Scarlett Johanssen was ace in Ghost World and the trailer for this looks beautiful. Respect to the man Murray is indeed due. Bow at his scuffed heels, mortals.

  • Aug. 15, 2003, 9:40 a.m. CST


    by vorpal6

    Hey. I wrote the review of this film about a month ago that was on aicn. I'm glad Harry got a chance to see it and I hope his rave really gets people interested, because it's really an awesome film. Just to address one or two issues people have mentioned, the giant age difference between Murray and Johannson, as weird as it sounds, is not creepy at all in the movie. They do such a good job of making it totally believable. It's not done like most romances are done in movies. It's very subtle and tasteful. It's the kind of thing where their scene of holding hands is more charged with chemistry than just about any sex scene in a hollywood movie. Oh, and Harry's misspelling of "Butt" was not a misspelling at all. It will all become clear when you see the movie...

  • Aug. 15, 2003, 11:06 a.m. CST

    "Butt"... Harry's all-time best subliminal slip.

    by The Grin

    When you see the opening shot of the film, you'll wonder if Harry's use of the word was intentional....Trust me on that one. - - - - The Grin, who has seen the film as well.

  • Aug. 15, 2003, 11:07 a.m. CST


    by elviskilledjfk

    this movie looks amazing. i realize i'll probably get a lot of shit for this, but i wasn't impressed by Virgin Suicides. I've seen better first films from directors, and I was convinced after watching it that Sofia Coppola was only able to make that film and get decent reviews because she (like just about everyone in Hollywood, movie industry or music) was/is a Coppola. However, this movie looks great. Murray is amazing and I feel he was cheated at the Academy Awards when he wasn't given the best supporting actor award for Rushmore. Hopefully it'll be different this time. Scarlett Johansson is not only an incredibly talented actress, but she's gorgeous. Love the shot in the trailer where Murray is trying to take a shower, lived in asia for 17 years and as a 6'1" half white/half korean, I always hated how low the shower heads were, and found it hilarious that that was part of the "commentary" made by the film. But seriously, i DO think that this film exaggerates the eccentricities of Japanese culture, I've been to Tokyo, and it's not nearly as complicated as Harry seems to think it is, and the people aren't nearly as strange as the trailer makes them seem.

  • Aug. 15, 2003, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Robogeek couldn't agree more. This film is GREAT.


    Like Harry, I am madly in love with this movie, and miss hanging out with its two lead characters. This is a really special film, and an impressive step forward for Sofia Coppola. Murray and Johansson are both at their respective bests (which is saying a lot), and the former should expect - and certainly deserves - an Oscar nomination. Can't wait to watch this one again, and I'm recommending it to everyone I know. (P.S.: I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that Johansson's character is most definitely not 19, but a few years older.)

  • Aug. 15, 2003, 12:26 p.m. CST

    We all know Bill Murray is God....

    by tendermelon

    But something I don't understand is how Hollywood can become obsessed with fucking Ben and Jen when they should be following Spike and Sofia. That's the couple we should watch, and they're apparently going through some rocky times, but I see it not on the cover of People magazine, US weekly, Nat. Enquirer...

  • Aug. 15, 2003, 12:54 p.m. CST

    I'm aware of the differenc, JTylor

    by vikingkitty

    Paul Anderson is far from a cinematic genius, but he still runs circles around Del Toro, whom Harry seems to worship. Blade II was on one of the worst movies ever made, in my opinion.

  • Aug. 15, 2003, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Scarlett Johanssen

    by Shaner Jedi

    is one of the best younger ACTORS today.

  • Aug. 15, 2003, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Vikingkitty... Glad you know the difference...

    by JTylor

    So I suppose I'll have to put this up to taste. Myself, I'd take Guillermo Del Toro over Paul "Mortal Kombat" Anderson any day... but that's just me. I want to see "The Devil's Backbone" which might prove Del Toro is a good filmmaker who indulges a bit too mightily his taste for pulp (I enjoy Blade II for its excess, to be honest).

  • Aug. 15, 2003, 2:37 p.m. CST

    Del Toro

    by joshsisk

    The Devil's Backbone is quite a good movie. Better than anything Paul Anderson has done (with the possible exception of 'Shopping', which I have never seen). His movies have all the depth of video game cut scenes. It's pretty bad when Event Horizon is the highlight of your career. Also, to the person talking about the "Coppola film fest" : the only parts of the film directed by Eleanor Coppola were the archival footage elements. The film as a whole was directed, written and concieved by George Hickenlooper and Fax Bahr.

  • Aug. 15, 2003, 3:06 p.m. CST

    Anybody know where I can find an interview with Sophia Coppola o

    by jennababe

    How does she know Japanese culture so well? Pretty amazing.

  • Aug. 15, 2003, 5:37 p.m. CST

    Scarlett Johansen has been in FOUR awesome movies recently...

    by GenericGeek

    Don't forget "Eight Legged Freaks". I'm serious. "THEY'RE HEERE! THEY'RE HEEEEEERE". Freakin' brilliant.

  • Aug. 15, 2003, 6:03 p.m. CST

    I will watch anything by the director of Virgin Suicides

    by MrCere

    A vastly under rated, brilliant film. How Mr. Harry did you miss this the first time on the screen? Anyway, the film was good enough and the talent handled deftly enough that knowing nothing else about a film save that S. Coopela directed it, I would pay money to see it. As matter of fact, I think I will.....

  • I've got you pegged like an unfortunate pirate.

  • Aug. 16, 2003, 2:15 a.m. CST

    Blade 2

    by WoodyStiffer

    If we're on the subject of Del Tore - Blade 2 was horrific. The other day I watched the first Blade installment twice and marvelled at how well made it was. Reasonably tight story, great fight sequences that relied on reasonable fight scenes with very little CGI/Wire-Fu. How disappointing it was to see a series with TRULY great franchise potential being DESTROYED in only the second installment. Light bending around corners? PSHAW!! Yeah, right - color me unimpressed!!!

  • Aug. 16, 2003, 5:15 a.m. CST

    I`m impressed by this paring

    by chien_sale

    Great casting there. Hopefully it will be SECRETARY-level chemistry

  • Aug. 16, 2003, 8:20 a.m. CST

    Holy Russian sea monkey gods of yoga Batman!

    by Neosamurai85

    Now this is a film I will look forward to seeing! Peace.

  • Aug. 16, 2003, 5:57 p.m. CST

    Better than Stripes?

    by WPMayhew

  • Aug. 16, 2003, 5:58 p.m. CST

    Better than Quick Change?

    by WPMayhew

  • Aug. 16, 2003, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Better than Larger Than Life?

    by WPMayhew

  • Aug. 17, 2003, 1:36 a.m. CST

    BETTER than Ghostbusters!!!

    by billsbunnie

    So there!

  • Aug. 17, 2003, 11:57 p.m. CST

    why is anyone defending Paul Anderson?

    by eau hellz gnaw

    His movies are complete trash. And Paul Thomas Anderson a genius? I like some of his films, but damn, don't you think we should have higher standards?

  • Aug. 18, 2003, 3:48 a.m. CST

    virgin suicides

    by Rupee88

    The Virgin Suicides was a train wreck of a film. I don't know how anyone could like it, but i has a decent rating at IMBD somehow. I checked it out and Hi think I finally FF through most of it after being bored/annoyed to the point of intense pain. I'll pass on this one.

  • Aug. 18, 2003, 5:24 a.m. CST

    my two favorite actors

    by stuntrocker

    Murray an Jo. Don't forget the Razor's Edge. And I'm not talking about that ACDC concert I got trashed at here in Austin in 89.

  • Aug. 18, 2003, 9:22 a.m. CST

    I'm stunned and traumatised...

    by jimmythesaint

    ... that no-one got my Old Grey Whistle Test joke. *cries*

  • Aug. 18, 2003, 9:32 a.m. CST

    so good to be back among the mass debaters at AICN!

    by Hud

    Carry on, lads.

  • Aug. 18, 2003, 10:59 a.m. CST

    Blade 2 wasn't that bad....

    by TheGinger Twit

    in fact, I wasn't exactly disapointed at all. Sure there was an aweful lot of light in those sewers, and that old guy getting repeatedly hit would have bent his face just a little bit out of shape... oh, and lets not forget the very pro-abortion aspect of the climax..... but beyond that, it had some great gore, good action, spectacular spfx..... I'd go so far as to put it with ALIENS in terms of sequels.... but I don't know, maybe you guys thing Aliens is shit too.

  • Aug. 18, 2003, 11:33 a.m. CST

    Woody Stiffer

    by elviskilledjfk

    It's unfortunate that you think light DOESN'T bend around corners. Maybe not to a great degree, but light DOES bend around corners. Time to brush up on your physics.

  • Aug. 18, 2003, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Defending Paul Anderson?

    by vikingkitty

    I sat through Resident Evil last night for the first time, and man, that was bad. However, compared to Blade II, it was a cinematic masterpiece. I can't recall a single thing from Blade II; that whole movie was like junk food for the brain. Or maybe it was just so bad my mind is rejecting it, sort of like I reject all sequels to The Crow. Regardless, when Blade III comes out, it's going to be Blade II in my mind.

  • Aug. 18, 2003, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Aww, c'mon. You don't fear the Reapers?

    by FrankCobretti

    Those were some pretty scary monsters. And the creature effects! Wow! Tell me you weren't blown away when those mandibles separated. Toss in the future Hellboy, plenty of gunfire, and at least one deeply squirm-inducing review, and I was so there.

  • Aug. 18, 2003, 2:19 p.m. CST

    It'll be hard to forgive Sofia...

    by symphy

    ...for having the audacity to end The Virgin Suicides by taking a "Written and Directed By" credit, despite her entire screenplay being copy and pasted chunk by chunk from Eugenides' brilliant (and far superior) novel. I got to talk with Eugenides after a book signing in Ann Arbor and was asking him about that, and he said it's funny, because they had called him before the promotional materials were going to be made, and asked him if it was okay if "Written and Directed by Sofia Coppola" was on the posters, and Jeffrey said "um, no" and they did a "based on the novel by" credit instead. But then when the movie came out, the huge "Written and Directed by Sofia Coppola" letters made most people think she had written the story, and the "based on" credit was far buried in the closing. It's just so tacky what Coppola did there, for it's really one of the most word for word adaptations I've ever seen, and few other directors/screenwriters would have that kind of audacity. But, as direction goes, the Virgin Suicides was marvelous, and I'm grudgingly looking forward to this second effort.

  • Aug. 18, 2003, 3:45 p.m. CST

    The Virgin Suicides

    by Banky the Hack

    The virgin suicides is the worst movie I have ever seen, no more, no less. And call me a troll if you want, but by God I will never, ever, ever watch that thing again. Any name you can call me will be like a sweet blissful kiss of an angel compared to the bowel-inverting agony of that movie. Full of fakey drama and wanna-be artsy intellegence, it tried to be a movie that was supposed to make you think and feel, but it only made my ass-sweat. You want a good dramatic movie with some legitimate pathos, check out The Ice Storm. If you want a pompous movie full of all means go rent Virgin Suicides tonight. I will however give this movie a shot, because every movie is different...however two in a row constitutes a trend and that's enough to pass on a third. I hope I am proven wrong about Sophia Coppola.

  • Aug. 19, 2003, 2:48 a.m. CST

    LIVE in Translation

    by innuendo

    I just got back from the Sneak Preview screening at the Egyptian in L.A. Sofia and Bill Murray were there, along with the music dude. Bill was hillarious in the Q&A section afterwords, Sofia seemed a little aloof but she was probably just nervous. Anyway the film got a Standing O, not just because the directo and Bill were there, it was really a great film. I havne't liked many of Bill's past films, but this is one role he just slips right into with ease and fits so perfectly. It's a perfect alternative to all the mainstream nonsense in the theatres right now. Go see it!

  • Sept. 3, 2003, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Please, don't be another May/December romance...

    by Damitol

    I'll see this because Bill Murray is a master when given the right type of material, Scarrlet Johnsson has been good in both movies I've seen her in and I love Japanese culture - so the "fish out of water" aspect should be fun. My only concern is whether not the two characters remain each others crutch in a strange land, helping each other to learn to enjoy life again, or they become lovers. Maybe I'll feel different about it when I'm 53, but the "Woody Allen Syndrone" in movies, where a hot young girl falls for a guy that could be her grandfather (or at least fairly old dad) really bugs me. Maybe it's a fairly common phenomenon in Hollywood with older power brokers and thier barely legal girlfriends who want to be movie stars, but it just feels kind of slimey on the big screen. If Bill and Scarlett keep their pants on, this has every chance to be an amazing character driven film. But - if either one of them says "You've taught me how to love again" as they slip beneath the sheets - I *won't* be buying the DVD.

  • Sept. 4, 2003, 12:48 p.m. CST

    hair club for men?

    by virginlizard

    i liked virgin suicides, EXCEPT, why has no one commented on the horrible bad wig that Josh Hartnett's character wore? that's all I could think about whenever he was on screen, was how the wig looked so fake. what can i say, it took me away from the story.

  • Sept. 5, 2003, 12:49 p.m. CST

    LOVED this movie

    by mifune jr.

    Saw it at the Egyptian 3 weeks ago, and I'm still thinking about it...I can't wait to see it again. This is my favorite so far this year. Scarlett is gorgeous...

  • Sept. 7, 2003, 8:11 p.m. CST



    Anyone know how the soundtrack is? I think Kevin Shields did some original songs. My Bloody Valentine's fucking great tune "Sometimes" is in there too, I thought. WANK MAD. WANK WANT HEAR. WANK SMASH!

  • Sept. 10, 2003, 5:48 p.m. CST

    I don't always agree with you Harry, but you NAILED this review

    by empyreal0

    Saw it last night at an early release. FANTASTIC movie. Only thing that disappointed me was Johansson's character's "husband". Far too cardboard, a tiny bit overbearing in his obliviousness. Frankly, I couldn't see why she ever married him in the first place - there was no hint of what she might have lost or grown too accustomed to. That's really about it. But you're right about these two characters. We didn't spend nearly enough time with them.

  • Sept. 10, 2003, 5:52 p.m. CST

    I was in the front row for that first shot!!! The first two row

    by empyreal0

    I had to shower when I got home.

  • Sept. 13, 2003, 12:42 a.m. CST

    Scarlett and Bill make up for a just-ok script

    by FortyWatto

    Just came back. Big complaints --Too often it felt like watching a travelogue: Sophia's home movies from Japan (accompanied by Sophia's record collection). And the poignant end scene should've been silent, dammit! Did we really need to hear that overused "Just Like Honey" relic from the '80s? (If Jesus & Mary Chain shared Kevin Shields' good sense and had packed it in after Psychocandy, then all would be forgiven. But they didn't.) Good movie, doesn't hold a candle to Virgin Suicides. As for Mr. Murray's filmography, Rushmore still reigns supreme. And Harry, let's not forget Scarlett was wonderful in The Horse Whisperer too.

  • Sept. 14, 2003, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Lost is all about Sofia, Spike Jonze and Cameron Diaz

    by thursdaythe12th

    Sophia Coppola is the lost girl, Spike Jonze is the photographer husband character (the actor dresses like spike, even raised his voice to sound like spike), and the ditzy girl going on and on and on about herself is Cameron Diaz, who "loved working with the 'photographer' last time, and would 'love to work with him again.' Sophia's marriage must really be on the rocks, and Cameron Diaz must be pissed at how Sophia portayed her.

  • Sept. 15, 2003, 1:14 p.m. CST


    by filmzombie

    s. coppola is a horrible director at best... this movie is sooooo slow and boring you could trim a few hedges & bushes and not miss a beat. Sadly, and it's soooo hard to watch a Pro like Murray as he aimlessly struggles w/ a lamo all the samo script in a desperate attempt to breath some life in something so dead there almost isn't a pulse... nepotism at it's most ugly moments personified by someone ie. the writer and director another coppla... scary thought ... To quote Howard Stern... "she's a no talent" . Being a former studio exec. this film wouldn't get greenlight in 85 million years unless she was a Coppola. Daddy got her the $$$. If she wasn't a Coppola she'd be pumping gas or doin' skin flicks in the Valley. Ie. she belongs doing something else... enough said... GIVE SOMEONE ELSE A CHANCE IN HOLLYWOOD. Move on - Plus whoever did this review... what were u thinking? Smoking something? Or really massively and embarrassingly brown-nosing the Coppola's for gig?.... thought this site was against that & hip? guess not. NEXT

  • Sept. 15, 2003, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Then WHO is Bob Harris?!

    by billsbunnie

    Interesting post Thursdaythe12th.. but WHO is Bob Harris supposed to be?!

  • Sept. 15, 2003, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Just Like Honey

    by daph26

    Forty Watto--I beg to differ. "Just Like Honey" is the perfect soundtrack to end the movie with. It's haunting and bittersweet...just like Bob and Charlotte's parting. Everytime I hear that song in the trailer it gives me goosebumps. I was totally thrilled to find it was in the film too. Don't bash J&MC's masterpiece because the rest of their oevre didn't live up to your expectations (though "Head On" is fantastic despite what you might think). If the movie had been silent, it wouldn't have been nearly as effective.

  • Sept. 15, 2003, 5:05 p.m. CST

    Reply to Billsbunnie

    by thursdaythe12th

    Who is Bob Harris?..Struggling with that one. One thought is that he represents Francis Ford C., as a sort of fatherly figure who offered her advice on the script. More thought needed. I wonder if there really was a Bob Harris older-man type that she had a brief thing with...

  • Sept. 16, 2003, 12:55 a.m. CST

    I've got it! Bob Harris was really Harrison Ford. Imagine H.F.

    by thursdaythe12th

  • Sept. 16, 2003, 11:35 p.m. CST

    Thanks, Thursd!

    by billsbunnie

    Hey thanks for the reply! Just as long as it ISN'T supposed to be BILL!!! It always sounded like Miss Coppola had/has a crush on him herself. Well..who can blame her?! I'm madly obsessed with him myself! Tee Hee.

  • Sept. 20, 2003, 11:58 a.m. CST

    The Pixies cover of Head on was even better than the original...

    by JQuintana

    Shhh. Don't argue. It was.

  • Sept. 22, 2003, 6:29 p.m. CST

    film zombie

    by empyreal0

    I'm sure you turned down the studio exec job for something that pays better, huh? Somehow I doubt that from a guy who quotes Howard Stern. Now you might be right that this isn't the kind of film studios would give a green light, and there's a very good reason for that. It doesn't follow the formulas. There's no cute side character to annoy the lead. The love interest is not the perfect match for the lead. The script doesn't treat the audience like a bunch of simpletons; it allows the audience to absorb what is being said by the subtleties of acting rather than dumbed-down exposition. No studio exec with a multi-million dollar bottom line would ever greenlight a movie so completely out of touch with the least common denominator. Of course, not everyone enjoys movies that pander to the intellectually defunct - and thankfully this is a world in which independent films are being made. In short, don't piss on a movie because you'd rather have your entertainment spoon-fed; maybe you'd be better off sticking to your own safe "studio-sanctioned" material.

  • Sept. 23, 2003, 12:07 a.m. CST

    empyreal10 youy nailed it

    by dirkprotostar

    I absolutly loved this movie, seen it twice and completly intend to see it once more in the theaters. How cool was that ending when he hugs her and whispers in her ear. In a big budget movie you know these two would have slept together and had a torid love affair that would have been complete unbelievable nonsense. Then it would end with the two of them going back to their normal lives without a smidge of guilt followed by a voiceover of charlotte saying how wise old bob made her learn to love again and appreciate the beauty of the world. we've all been beaten over the head with that formula for years and we've come to expect it. Its so refreshing to see a film that doesn't talk down to the audience, have to hold your hand and tell you exactly what each character is going through with cliched dialouge, dropped into a paint by numbers script. With great acting, a cleaver script and great direction any audience with more than a tenth grade education will be able to figure this stuff out on there own. We've got a ways to go but so far this is the best movie of the year.

  • Sept. 25, 2003, 7:48 p.m. CST

    Wow, a review of Harry's that I completely agree with! What the

    by Puddin' Taine

    I was FINALLY able to see this last night since it is only playing at ONE FRIGGIN screen here in Phoenix. For the life of me, I agree dead on 100% with Harry's review (shocking, really!). LiT isn't really a comedy, not really a drama, but it IS one hell of a movie. Murray was spot on in this movie and yes, this may be the performance of his career. Johannson was absolutely delightful; I see nothing but good things in her future with what I've seen in GHOST WORLD and this movie. Something else no one has mentioned was Anna Farris' brief appearences were also pretty funny, especially the press conference in the hotel. It had a couple moments that dragged a little, but they were very few and far between. I don't know what else to say because Harry pretty much hit the nail on the head with his synopsis. Hopefully Sofia C's next project is something as enjoyable and great as this.

  • Sept. 26, 2003, 3:09 a.m. CST

    Make it Santori Time-Rost in Tlansration

    by stuntrocker

    such bullsh*t. That gunfight and that car chase were so phony. I've been to Sausalito and it's nothing like that. And as soon as Charlotte does a kickflip while doing that sword thing...well buy me a ticket to Tokyo and I'll my foot up my Fuji. You'd think they could afford some better stuntpeople. I was in Nippon when and met the stuntco*k on Shogun, so I know. My dojo was respected. So in closing I need some napkins sanitary, sanitary give me some napkins. Intergalactic Planetary, Planetary Intergalactic. But Charlotte's StuntButt is definitely UNDERpaid. Under 1 : in or into a position below or beneath something 2 : below or short of some quantity, level, or limit <$10 or under> -- often used in combination <understaffed> 3 : in or into a condition of subjection, subordination, or unconsciousness 5 : so as to be covered When I saw this movie, I actually saw myself in Charlotte. I'm buying a pink wig online right now.

  • Sept. 27, 2003, 1:52 p.m. CST


    by DarthSnoogans

    They actually did kind of explain why Scarlett's character was with such a vapid unaware guy. She had a conversation with someone at the beginning about how he wasn't the same person she married or something. They really just went right into the movie without any backstory, which I kind of dug, since it really more about the moment rather than the character's respective pasts. Great review, Harry. Just a totally satisfying movie, and it ended it exactly the way it should have. Any other way would have been an immense cop-out. After striking out with the last three movies I saw (American Wedding, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, and Open Range), I was relieved to see something that didn't disgust me, confuse me, or just make me bored out of my friggin' mind.

  • Sept. 28, 2003, 11:09 a.m. CST

    Lost in Translation

    by jmb54

    When Bob sees long blonde hair from behind and believes it is Charlotte, it should NOT have been, and there is such powerful joy when it turns out to be Charlotte...There has never been sadder, more heartbreaking eyes than Bill Murray's in this movie. The story is slowly paced and uneventful, the ending perfectly in line with who we have learned the two main characters to be, and yet, as I drove home I began to cry and couldn't stop. For Bob, for Charlotte, but probably mostly for me and how inevitable endings are.

  • Sept. 30, 2003, 6:01 a.m. CST


    by tinabracken

    Well... thanks to film zombie for MAJORLY hitting the nail on the head. It's amazing how Zombies comments went over everyone's heads here. Helllooooo McFlies! So right on. The film was sooooo weak. yes the young woman who was the lead was very good... But it was sooooooooooo sad to see Mr. Murray struggle with this script. So many times it was so obvious I felt embarrassed for the writer. A very poor job on the script and if it wasn't for her Spikes DP lensing this film it would have been a total disaster... he prob. directed it (like most DP's want to do and usually DO w/ inexperienced directors) Nepotism in Hollywood is at an utter epidemic state that has poisoned the film biz to such a point that everyone (esp. on this site) are immune or unaware to it. This film is a case in point of Daddy getting money for his little girl to do a film. And yes being a woman I feel there are NOT enough women in the biz... but putting someone behind the lense who's had a platinum spoon in her mouth... 0 life experience except an elite life of luxury... simply F her and the rolls she drove up in. Why doesn't she go help the starving in Africa. Her Father can give her a few million to do some good. There are PLENTY more talented unknown, undiscovered writers and directors out there that deserve a chance or break before another Coppola. Frankly I want to see Francis' Dog and 3 Cats in films. They should be stars too!!! Why not the housekeeper and plumber? Yeah!!! What I really want to see is Hollywood's true rebel!!! The Black sheep of Kirk Douglas family. Now his troublesome son should be in A list films. WE ARE BEING RIPPED OFF! From a true new James Dean. Haaaaaa But we'll just wind up getting ANOTHER 5 Baldwins to just spoil the Actor Gene pool even more.... and best of ALL everyone will love them. Amazing... stupidity and lack of common sense have become contagious in Hollywood. To prove my point and YOU HEARD IT HERE 1ST - This film will be nominated for an Oscar. The Academy is so disconnected & filled with hot air and boy do they love Nepotism. Just like they gave Paul Sorvino's daughter... and what has SHE done that's worth 2 cents since then? empyreal0 coments -- get real! Thanks Film Zombie YOU ROCK!!!!!

  • Oct. 4, 2003, 10:45 a.m. CST

    Lost in Translation

    by staros24

    Loved the film. Can anyone tell me what was the name of the song (and the artist) that the character or Charlotte sings at the karaoke party? Can anyone also tell me what was the name of the song (and the artist) that played in the background when both Bob and Charlotte arrive at the party? I am asking coz none of these songs were in the coundtrack.

  • Oct. 8, 2003, 2:54 p.m. CST

    song when they enter the party

    by adistler1

    That song where they enter the party would be "Goodbye" by Kevin Shields. It's on the soundtrack.

  • Oct. 9, 2003, 2:08 a.m. CST

    sorry... the song is......

    by adistler1

    "Too Young" by Phoenix. My bad.

  • Oct. 10, 2003, 7:17 p.m. CST

    review reveals too much plot

    by tenxtone

    I like many of the insights and opinions, but why give away so many plot points?

  • Oct. 16, 2003, 10:56 p.m. CST

    I loved this movie!!!

    by superdavid

    Its not for everyone, some will find it slow or weak. I found it to be meditative not slow. I've traveled a lot and alone and met people on the way and people who've done that will like this film. Thank g-d there is someone around to make a film like this. They dont come along every day. Harry is right about the characters in that I want to spend all day in a theature watching the movie again and again and again just to be with them, to spend time with them. Like old friends. Its suntorry time!!! :) Ive already seen it 2.5 times. After Kill Bill I snuck into LiT while it was 30 min into it. This film reminded me a bit of "Choose Me" which is very character centric and has "slower" pacing and is one of my favorite films!

  • Nov. 4, 2003, 10:37 p.m. CST

    LIT Deserves Best Picture Shot

    by Roboteer

    No one's gonna read this late edition, but this is a truly great film that will be mostly overlooked by non-indie audiences. It deserved at least a week or two shot at the multiplexes. The movie this may be closest to is BEFORE SUNRISE, which wasn't too shabby either. Although Ebert is the only other person I've seen make that apparently avoidable connection. And interestingly, the feeling of familiar friends lost that many here expressed is also exactly what the characters were feeling! Just another one of the many poignant ways this film works on you. Also glad now more respect is being paid to another not overlooked, but certainly underestimated Murray vehicle in GROUNDHOG DAY.

  • Jan. 7, 2004, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Loved It

    by Harry Harrison

    This film was the cinematic equivalent of masturbation-a necessity for everyone and it feels so goddam good. Film is shot with so much maturity and the script is so well written its unbelievable, I mean some people in Hollywood do something like this after huge careers but Sofia Coppolas done it in 2 films... Virgin Suicides was awesome and she is perfect to adapt and direct a film of THE LOVELY BONES (read it motherfuckers!) by Alice Sebold. She should do it before someone like Penny Marshall jumps in...Bill Murray will get an Oscar for this-Hollywood are not bastards enough NOT to reward him...

  • Jan. 30, 2004, 7:38 a.m. CST

    Lost In Translation- A Review

    by Vishnu

    Lost in Translation. 18 days into the New Year and it is quite possible that I have already seen the best film of the year, again! (City of God Last Year). No I

  • Feb. 7, 2004, 5:12 a.m. CST

    Lost in Crap

    by comicmojo

    I just watched the DVD. I decided to buy it after all of the rave reviews that this movie has recieved. What a bunch of crap. Is this a comedy? I didn't laugh. Bill Murray winning Best Actor. Yeah, I guess if acting is a guy looking depressed. I know that I am not alone. This movie is lost in bullshit hype. Give me Meatballs, or Groundhog Day anytime over this shit.

  • Feb. 12, 2004, 12:19 p.m. CST

    What a waste of time

    by Silver Shamrock

    LIT is the longest movie I've ever seen. If it just had one more "look at how wacky Japanese culture is" moment it would have been brilliant. Why are we supposed to give a fuck about the Scarlett character? Bore rich girls are boring. And Murray sleepwalked through the whole movie knowing that Coppola wold be so grateful to have him in the movie that he'd be able to hand in whatever half assed performance he gave. Think Brando's recent movie appearances.

  • Feb. 27, 2004, 4:14 a.m. CST

    might as well mute it

    by bonesMD

    Don't get me wrong i liked the movie for what it was. A tedeous simple romance that could never be, with the whole "will they shag or won't they" premise going on. but i dont think it's as great as everyone is making it out to be. It's a beautiful looking film i'll give it that but the story is rather slow and not filled with alot of dialouge at all. Most of the time are two love birds are starring at each other or it's shots of Scarlett Johansen Walking around Tokyo and it gets boring after the first three times. I mean give me a break, i could have rented a travel video if i wanted that. Giving this film nods for writing is a joke there barely is any dialouge... i could have written this movie... hell i wouldn't have to i'd just follow bill and scarlett around with a camera. On the other hand the actors do give beleivable, bold and honest portrayals (kudos to murray's character) of tired and lost souls in search of something familiar in an unfamiliar place. All in all i would recomend this movie to others but i felt it could have used a little more thought provoking dialogue to help flesh out it's characters and fuel the plot alot further to make the veiwer think a little higher than your average romance.

  • March 2, 2004, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Not on the rewatch list.

    by RottingRhino

    This film just struck me as a film for depressed people who like to be depressed while they watch depressed films in their depression or for people who have it so good they like to take a dip in depression to make themselves feel all the more better when they shake it off and go back to their happy lives. Otherwise it bored the tears out of me...I just couldnt feel any sympathy for two rich people who could at any time 'get the fek out of dodge' whenever they felt like it. Sure it would of meant she would of had to deal with her relationship or actually force her boyfriend/hubbytobe to sit down and listen to her or he would have to give up the money and what little glory was left in his career to return to his wife (good christ) and children but thats life. Personally I think it had the potential to be a hell of a funny movie..and Murray more than once had me in tears laughing but then down came the depressed artsiness and it flatlined again until the next funny Murray/Japanese encounter. I think I would have enjoyed it more if S. Copolla would of played Scarlets character...they would of had sex and then filmed the next 30 days of their lives before Murray leaves. All that said there was something tranquil and even-flowed about the film, however I would of rather seen Murray and his reactions to the Japanese over a depressing doomed love story, but that wont get you an Oscar.

  • March 13, 2004, 8:47 a.m. CST

    A really enjoyable film...

    by 7ZARK7

    People only seem to hate this film because the went to see Bill Murray do prat falls and say dopey lines with dumb faces. Nice. Talk about sad minds. This is one of those few recent films that tells a story and does so nicely. It isn't a masterpiece, but it is really really good. Granted, no gun chases, blood, sex (almost), robots or Wil Smith, but all story and nicely shot in Tokyo. Granted, they did pander to a stereotype and portray inaccuracies (the mix up Ls and Rs?? They HAVE no Ls!). Johannsen was sexy, Murray was fun. But the shocker is that this film is about two pompous a-holes who have nothing better to do then cheat on their spouses while you, the audience, sympathize with them for being slutty, contemptible, arrogant bastards. Thats another reason this film is nice: it makes a monkey out of the audience.

  • May 14, 2004, 1:32 a.m. CST

    New LIT fan site and forum!

    by superdavid

  • Dec. 22, 2008, 1:19 p.m. CST

    that guitar game . . .

    by readyoufool

    . . . it's called "guitar hero"? where the hell have you been for the past 2 years!? get it together fatboy!