Lost in Translation (15)
<strong>Rating: </strong>4/5Rate this
Time Out saysContemporary Tokyo, and Bob Harris (Murray) is having an out-of-body experience. Nothing says disconnection so much as giant billboards of yourself commending Suntory whisky to a foreign audience when the shoot behind the ads leaves you stranded in a sterile hotel bar nursing your loneliness over several glasses of the same. That's when he meets Charlotte (Johansson), a soul-searching young New Yorker idling time while her photographer husband disappears on assignment. She recognises a fellow castaway, and soon the two are trading quips and confidences. A comedy of dislocation framing a love story bound up in an expression of existential melancholy, Sofia Coppola's film is a deft, manifold delight. Johansson again impresses as an old head on young shoulders, but it's Murray's infinitely modulated performance that underpins the film. Riffing on his own image, he gives a sweet-sad study of a man lost inside himself, resigned to the likelihood that it's for life. Certainly the film has the ring of experience. The anomie of international living, the push-pull of shirking home. Admittedly it makes life easier on itself by camping up Japan's way-out culture (an irrepressible chat show host and a voluble photo director are particular standouts), but that's in keeping with its alienation principle. So far as the central relationship goes, the film is almost European in its subtlety and nuance. Cinematic cherry blossom.