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Japanese Quirks

June 30, 2010

Another movie I’m rather late to the party for is Lost in Translation.  The movie’s pretty easy to summarize.  It’s a bunch of vignettes of two people, a middle-aged actor named Bob Harris (Bill Murray), and the young wife of a celebrity photographer named Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), meeting each other while in Japan for different reasons.  Both their marriages aren’t doing to well, and they both feel extremely lost in the craziness of Tokyo, so they find camaraderie in their mutual… lostness.  It’s not really a very plot heavy story.  It’s more about these two people and the acting of Bull Murray and Scarlet Johansson.  Truly great acting on both their parts.  Especially Murray, who manages to make situations, like that scene when he’s in the elevator with a bunch of Japanese people more than a foot taller than him, funny just by standing there and rolling his eyes.  And the exercise machine scene was priceless.  The other thing this movie is good with is showing some of the random craziness of Japanese culture, like the strange strip club, niche cultures, etc.  As someone who’s lived in Japan, some of it was rather familiar.  The rest fit, even if I haven’t experienced it.  So props to Sofia Coppola and the writers for getting that feeling down.  If you’re looking for a truly meaningful movie or something or other, this is the wrong movie.  If you want to see great acting with Tokyo as a backdrop, there aren’t very many movies better.

Story: 6.8      Cinematography: 9.0      Soundtrack: 6.5      Acting: 9.3      Overall: 7.2

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