Lost in Translation was Sofia Coppola’s third film and it won the Academy Award for screenplay and three Golden Globe Awards. The film maintained a certain amount of hype even causing redneck types to watch something they didn’t expect to get into. I once recall seeing an angry blue collar man demanding a video store clerk to give him a another rental because Lost in Translation was not funny. Well, that redneck was pretty accurate in his film analysis. Lost in Translation is the type of film cosmopolitan feminists and weak baby doll shirt wearing males rave about. The reason is obvious; like themselves the film is soulless.
The film follows Bob (Bill Murray) and Scarlet Johansson (Charlotte) as they feel lost in the “culture shock” world of digital metropolis Japan. The young Charlotte feels like she is having second thoughts about her marriage with her wussy photographer husband. Leave it to a cynical and alcoholic Bob (who is in Japan to shoot a Whiskey advertisement) to save Charlotte’s plague of social awkwardness and loneliness. The two new friends frolic around Japan and have the most quirky fun of their life. I can imagine a young hipster guy with contrived nerd glasses saying to himself, “now that’s humanity.”
Sofia Coppola’s portrayal of Japan is just silly and borders on offensive. Had the film been set in the Congo, looking at the country in a similar arrogant context, there would have been a yeast infection fueled outcry among all of America’s coffee houses. Sofia Coppola, like Jim Jarmusch in Mystery Train, seems to think of the Japanese as cultureless materialists that have adopted a distorted version of American culture. I guess that’s what happens when America drops a few Atom bombs on Japanese cities.
So yes, two people you would never expect to get together do just that, because they feel lost in Japan. How quirky and cute. I was just waiting for Bob to “give it to” Charlotte but I think too much alcohol and lack of overall energy has made the man impotent. Maybe the film would have been more interesting if two rednecks were stranded in Hispanic populated Los Angeles with no way out. Possibly, they would come together for the benefit of humanity and expose real American gringo patriotism to hostile slightly-literate, Spanish speaking teenage gang members. That would be a true American comedy about things that get “Lost in Translation. ”