Lost in Translation

August 25, 2005 - Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson star in this 2003 drama from Sofia Coppola.

Murray plays Bob Harris, a middle-aged American actor in Japan to shoot the latest ad campaign for a top-selling whiskey. Bob used to be a big action star and his movies are still popular in Japan. That's why he's being paid $2 million. He'd rather be home doing local theatre, but his wife of 20+ years said take the money!

Johansson plays Charlotte, a recent graduate of Yale who's still trying to find herself. She's married to John (played by Giovanni Ribisi), who makes his living photographing rock and roll bands. He's in Tokyo for a shoot and Charlotte tagged along.

The movie focuses on Bob and Charlotte as they meet in the hotel bar then start hanging out and going to clubs around Tokyo. Neither one ever professes love for the other, but Charlotte is hurt when Bob has a one-night stand with a singer. In the end, Bob is headed for the airport to fly home to a wife and a life that he doesn't like anymore. Charlotte disappears into the crowded streets of Tokyo.

Overall review: *** There's really no plot here. It's just a slice of life about what can happen when two lost souls meet. For a while, they enjoy each other's company but, if all you've found is another lost soul, have you really found anything? The movie does leave you wondering, though, what happens to Bob and Charlotte after they say good-bye.