This is the only film I truly love. It is the film that changed my life. So, it’s about time I finally reviewed it. Lost in Translation is an extremely profound, philosophical, cathartic experience disguised as a romantic comedy. It is a work of high art in every sense, a transcendental indie masterpiece. If you have ever been involved in a devastating breakup with someone you truly loved—or if you’ve been depressed to the point where you wanted to end your life—you will connect with this film. If you feel alone in any way, you will connect with it. It is transcendental.
In a stunning breakout performance, Scarlett Johansson plays Charlotte, a recent Yale grad who just got married—a decision she now highly regrets—and feels like life is falling apart. Bill Murray plays Bob Harris, an aging film star who’s going through a mid-life crisis, as well as his own marriage problems. Charlotte and Bob both end up on trips to Tokyo. What follows is a surreal connection between unlikely acquaintances. You can feel the romantic tension slowly build like electricity. And yet, their friendship is infinitely more than mere romance.
Both lead characters are emphatically lost—in every sense of the word. And in a city that feels infinitely vast, mysterious, and foreign, they find order in the chaos via each other. Artistically, the cinematography is breathtaking. Sofia Coppola’s Oscar-winning script, meanwhile, is flawless. Thomas Mars’s soundtrack stars with well-curated indie tracks. The editing and mixing are flawless. And above all else, the acting is phenomenal. The two leads play their roles with a sense of authenticity to the point where you can feel their pain. I might add that this film, which some people consider a “romcom,” is absolutely hilarious too.
There is a sense of transcendence that perspires in the atmosphere of this work. It is ethereal. It is evanescent. It is subtle. And you might not even find yourself bewitched by it if you don’t watch the film attentively and with the categorical respect it commands of those who are passionate about film. Coppola’s screenplay has a sense of nuanced movements that gradually progress as viewers pick up on the intangibles of the lead character’s psyches, a sense of intimacy that lingers. And yet, somehow this ostensibly quintessential component of Lost in Translation isn’t even something you have to vibe with to enjoy the film. You can just kick back, watch passively, and enjoy its vibrant shots, its sense of humour (one that can only be acquired from a long, miserable life), and its aesthetic. The choice is yours!
Ultimately, Lost in Translation is one of the most influential, artistically dense films ever—and, whether you are just looking for a fun indie drama or a brilliant philosophical meditation, it can be whatever experience you want it to be. It is dynamic. And I couldn’t love this film more than I already do. I’ve seen it at least 30 times, I still see it several times per year, and it renews my love for life, my passion for art, and my belief in humanity and the world each time. Surely we all need some of that in 2020. Don’t miss out on this stunning magnum opus!
P.S. I don’t like the trailers for Lost in Translation, but this fan video for Phantogram’s wonderful song “Bill Murray” captures the film’s essence.
It captures the expat experience of Tokyo perfectly, the atmosphere and the spirit of Tokyo…it always makes me feel nostalgic for Japan. It is in my top 5.
LOVE this. Anybody who has Lost in Translation in their top 5 is a friend of mine ha!
I was out there for almost 20 years…Ditto!
P.S. Since you liked this one, Sofia Coppola‘s new film (which also features Bill Murray) is solid too!
That is a possibility! Thank you for the recommendation.
It’s available on Apple TV+ 👌
Very beautiful cinematography, lots of philosophical layers, and good acting from Bill and Rashida Jones. Certainly isn’t even nearly as special as Lost in Translation, but def recommend if you’re bored!
I’m in one of those ruts where I watch five minutes of 20 new things and give up making disapproving noises.
Same. I’ve started like 20 different books in the last few years but haven’t even gotten halfway through one of them!
I could only read trash for years after my English literature degree….Anything else made me feel like I was working!
Im possibly not so much bored as disaffected. Nothing looks good, nothing looks authentic. I will give the movie a fair go when I’m in a happier mood!
Aw dang I get that. When I’m pretty unstable, I don’t really watch much or listen to much because I won’t even remember any of it. The whole time I’m watching/listening I’ll just immersed in my own thoughts.
how can i see it
I believe it’s on Peacock and you can watch it for free there (just have to make a free account). Otherwise, you can always rent it on Amazon.👌
(Only $3.99 to rent it in HD)
It’s a stunner, thanks for sharing
cialis usa buy cialis by paypal cialis with diapoxetine
viagra cialis alternatives wife tried cialis cialis generique acheter
I completely agree with you. Great movie and brilliant actors. What a great way of describing the strong bond we can feel with someone going through a similar situation as you. I watch it once a year and I think I will watch it again soon! Thank you for sharing!
Love that! Such a powerful film. Thank you so much for sharing this!
One of my best films also
Just saw it for like the 40th time.
Maybe 30. 😂
i crie everytime
This post makes me really want to see this movie. Love the review (and the video). 💗
Hope you get a chance. Such a brilliant film—love that video, too! I find myself watching both on a fairly consistent basis ha.
that view though
Yeah I want to go to that hotel badly.
Shoutout to Lance Acord for the cinematography.