LOST IN TRANSLATION
(2003, Sofia Coppola)
The people in Coppola's movies walk around carrying a burden suppressing their existence. In SOMEWHERE the burden is having everything but feeling like nothing. In MARIE ANTOINETTE it is the expectation and duty bestowed upon the eponymous Queen. But it is in LOST IN TRANSLATION where the burden is revealed at its most complex.
As the title makes clear the inability of being understood is what plagues these people's lives. Setting it in Tokyo was a smart move. I've been there before and it's not just the language where one gets lost in translation. It's the rituals, the unspoken rules and etiquette. How you dress, how you behave, how you talk, how you move, how you eat or drink is different. If you're an outsider in Tokyo, your very presence is a misunderstanding.
In this environment of isolation, Bob and Charlotte (Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson) find solace. There's a clear age difference between them and they seem like an unlikely pair but the two click immediately. Their loneliness find each other.
The most telling communication between them are non-verbal cues. The glances reveal mutual understanding without a single word said. The way she rests her head on his shoulders shows affection. There's a recurring medium shot of the two with the camera positioned directly straight on. The background recedes to insignificance. The most important thing in the frame are these two people.
It is languidly paced. Scenes of the two together are punctuated by scenes of them apart. The editing alternates from centrifugal to centripetal with the centre being their relationship. They move away from each then towards each other. It's a beautiful rhythm.