So, I never saw Lost In Translation when it was in the cinema as a) I’m too lazy to find anything outside of my usual cinema and b) my usual cinema is a multiplex and so films with a brain tend not to make the cut. However, the combination of my fascination with all thing Japanese combined with an affection for Bill Murray drew me to it. It was probably seeing Sophia Coppola win the Oscar for writing that tipped me into it. So I bought the DVD and watched it. And again, and again, and again, in fact I’m watching it again now for what must be the 10th time but it has such space and simple human honesty that I don’t get tired of it. It’s quickly become a touchstone I need to revisit every once in a while. It doesn’t answer any questions for me but does chill me out and it’s so easy on the eye that it serves to recharge my batteries.

The story is beautfully balanced with both leading characters suffering alienation both by being a different country but also within their own lifes and of course at opposite ends of an age range. Both Bill Murray (Bob) and Scarlett Johansson (Charlotte) are brilliant and make for a fascinating couple. Their chemistry also blends perfectly into the story as the characters circle each other platonically but with an obvious undercurrent of sexual tension and desire.

Coppola also doesn’t take the easy route with obvious easy endings, which is so refreshing in a film these days. Everyone on this film just does a brilliant job from the sound (Brian Retzall) – check out the pool scene, among others (and the indie kid soundtrack); the photography (Lance Accord) – Tokyo cityscapes, ceremonial gardens, shift focus shots; the editing (Sarah Flack) and of course the direction (Copolla again).

I think this one cinematic storytelling restored my faith in film to move me, which had faded somewhat since Betty Blue.

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