Lost in Translation Screen 5 articles

Lost in Translation

2003

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  • I agree that they're self-absorbed, but the movie itself feels equally self-absorbed, and not in a sharp probing contra-indicative way, either. I can't recall offhand a single scene in which we're encouraged to identify with anybody other than the two white American protagonists. On the contrary, I felt like I was constantly being nudged to find the Japanese hilariously wacky.

  • The Virgin Suicides (2000) revealed writer-director Sofia Coppola to be a genuine original, and now that she's working with her own material the freshness of her vision is even more apparent... Coppola does a fair job of capturing the fish-tank ambience of nocturnal, upscale Tokyo and showing how it feels to be a stranger in that world, and an excellent job of getting the most from her lead actors. Unfortunately, I'm not sure she accomplishes anything else.

  • Watching the film now, it already feels like something of an artifact: soon, tales of infinite global connection and shared international traumas in the Babel and Crash vein would come to define the cinematic aughts... The film is exquisitely calculated to keep us at bay. It’s undoubtedly a skilled, and in many ways elegantly crafted, portrait of loneliness, but it’s predicated on a willful kind of loneliness, one that seems less laudable in the rear view mirror.

  • The pale pink of [Charlotte's] underwear isn’t random, but rather the last vestige of a world she understood, a girlhood where things made sense and dreams didn’t necessarily have to come true in order to invigorate. Her ass is the perfect representation of a girl who exists to us only as a long curve of questions. It’s a John Kacere painting (his Jutta hangs in Charlotte’s hotel room), but its ribald innuendo has been replaced by something we can’t quite define.

  • Murray and Johansson have two of the most expressive faces in the movies; Coppola renders the world around them at least as expressive. With her canny use of point-of-view shots she joins looking and thinking, emotion and action in an echoing complexity that’s all the more remarkable for its apparent simplicity.

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