Anyone who knows me will attest to my love of William James Murray, or just plain Bill to his friends. I could watch any film with him in, I even saw Garfield at the cinema as is my love for the great man (I didn’t see Garfield 2. That would’ve just been plain silly) So, and I can remember this quite clearly even though it was released here back in January 2004, I was standing on a platform waiting to catch the tube to some charming place and there, in front of my eyes, was a poster for Lost in Translation. It was magnificent. Okay, it was just Bill Murray sitting on a bed, but I was in love. I later found out that it also starred Scarlett Johansson, whom I had thought was fantastic in Ghost World, and so I started counting down the days until it’s release. Praying it didn’t disappoint. Hint; it doesn’t.
The story revolves around Bill and Scarlett being alone in Tokyo at the same period of time, and, in a somewhat unlikely fashion, they become friends, and possibly more. I could gush on about the wonderful direction, the beautiful photography and great soundtrack for an age, but I’ll try not to. Sofia Coppola, who had just the one previous film on her CV before this, The Virgin Suicides, does a remarkable job of allowing us to believe the relationship Bill and Scarlett are forming is real and not manufactured for a film. It seems entirely natural. The pair have great chemistry and Bill gets to show off some of his typically wonderful dead pan stylings. Everything in this movie works for me, it’s exactly the type of movie I love; it’s fairly minimalistic in it’s approach and it doesn’t get bogged down trying to tell a complex story, it’s just about a bunch of different people occupying a city at the same time & this is what happened. And, of course, there’s the ending, ah the ending, I wonder what was said….
See this movie if you haven’t already. It’s one of the best from the 21st century.
Marks out of ten – Nine