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Lost in Translation (2003)

 -  Drama  -  3 October 2003 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 273,767 users   Metascore: 89/100
Reviews: 1,810 user | 261 critic | 44 from Metacritic.com

A faded movie star and a neglected young woman form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 104 wins & 75 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Akiko Takeshita ...
Kazuyoshi Minamimagoe ...
Press Agent
Kazuko Shibata ...
Press Agent
Take ...
Press Agent
Ryuichiro Baba ...
Concierge
Akira Yamaguchi ...
Bellboy
...
Jazz Singer
...
Sausalito Piano (as Francois du Bois)
Tim Leffman ...
Sausalito Guitar
...
American Businessman #1
Richard Allen ...
American Businessman #2
...
Daiamondo Yukai ...
Commercial Director (as Yutaka Tadokoro)
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Storyline

Bob Harris is an American film actor, far past his prime. He visits Tokyo to appear in commercials, and he meets Charlotte, the young wife of a visiting photographer. Bored and weary, Bob and Charlotte make ideal if improbable traveling companions. Charlotte is looking for "her place in life," and Bob is tolerating a mediocre stateside marriage. Both separately and together, they live the experience of the American in Tokyo. Bob and Charlotte suffer both confusion and hilarity due to the cultural and language differences between themselves and the Japanese. As the relationship between Bob and Charlotte deepens, they come to the realization that their visits to Japan, and one another, must soon end. Or must they? Written by veloc <velo_00@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Everyone wants to be found. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

3 October 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Perdidos en Tokio  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$113,419 (Netherlands) (20 February 2004)

Gross:

£9,865,162 (UK) (26 March 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There is a shot of Bob running across a busy street while a minivan passes, full of uniformed women waving and politely shouting over a P.A. system. This is a form of advertising used by political candidates. The candidate himself is running alongside the van. See more »

Goofs

In both scenes where John rushes out of the hotel room, a wood-textured door is visible immediately next to his door at a perpendicular angle. When Bob takes Charlotte back to her room after the first night out, the door he goes in is in the middle of a hallway. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ms. Kawasaki: Welcome to Tokyo.
Bob: Thank you very much.
Ms. Kawasaki: My name is Kawasaki. Nice to meet you.
Bob: I've heard of you. Thank you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to Mom and Dad, Roman, Spike, Steph, Kun, Zoe and Xan, Robert and Stacey, Staff of Park Hyatt Tokyo.... See more »

Connections

Featured in The 2004 IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Tomei Tengu BGM
Written and Performed by Takeo Watanabe
Courtesy of Sankyo Shinsha Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A masterpiece about the mood and states of the characters
5 March 2006 | by (Spain) – See all my reviews

It is not easy to talk about "Lost in Translation". Sofia Coppola's second film as a director is in part about things we never talk about. While its two protagonists try to find mutual solace in each other, their silence is as expressive as their words. This is a film that believes that an individual can have a valuable relationship with someone else without becoming part of that person's life. At 19 years of age, I am not married but I can understand pretty well that it is easier for a stranger with whom you share a moment in the bar or corridor to understand your problems better than your husband or wife. Here is an extract from Roger Ebert's great review of the film: "We all need to talk about metaphysics, but those who know us well want details and specifics; strangers allow us to operate more vaguely on a cosmic scale. When the talk occurs between two people who could plausibly have sex together, it gathers a special charge: you can only say "I feel like I've known you for years" to someone you have not known for years."

In this marvellous story, the two lonely individuals that merge the illusions of what they have and what they could have are two Americans. The emotional refuge, Tokyo. We have Bob Harris (Bill Murray), and actor in his fifties who was once a star, and is now supplementing his incomes with the recording of a whisky commercial. On the other side of the telephone, a frightening reality: his wife, his sons, and the mission of choosing the right material for heaven knows what part of the house. When we consider Bob's situation, we realise that Lost in Translation is also a meditation on the misery of fame. Certainly fame has great (perhaps greater than disadvantages) advantages but then there are the obligations, the expectations...

We also have Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), a woman in her twenties who is accompanying her husband, a photographer addicted to work, on a business trip. But it could said it is as if she is alone anyway. Her world, just like Bob's, is reduced to strange days in the bedroom, the corridors, the hotel's swimming pool, and the bar, the perfect destination for victims of sleeplessness and wounded soul. The bar is the place Bob and Charlotte meet for the first time. They talk, little, but just enough. Once their dislike for parts of their lives are established, they begin sharing times that feel dead to be able to feel alive.

Bob and Charlotte are souls in transition for whom, surrounded and confused by exotic rituals, and a different language, allows them a moment to lose their identities. Both characters provoke similar feelings form different experiences. There are no kisses or crazy nights between them, but only a shared intimacy in which a night out, a walk in the streets, a session of karaoke becomes a powerful expression of their affection an complicity. The relationship we all await only happens in our minds and the protagonists, whom we are not allowed to know everything they say and desire. Tokyo metaphorically speaking is the third character in the film. The bright colours, the noise of the city...just everything evokes the various spiritual awakenings of the characters.

It ends on a perfect note leaving the relationship of the characters undecided. A rare gem in modern day cinema.


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