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Lost in Translation (2003)

R | | Drama | 3 October 2003 (USA)
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A faded movie star and a neglected young woman form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo.

Director:

Sofia Coppola

Writer:

Sofia Coppola
Popularity
1,043 ( 25)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 97 wins & 127 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Scarlett Johansson ... Charlotte
Bill Murray ... Bob Harris
Akiko Takeshita Akiko Takeshita ... Ms. Kawasaki
Kazuyoshi Minamimagoe Kazuyoshi Minamimagoe ... Press Agent
Kazuko Shibata Kazuko Shibata ... Press Agent
Take Take ... Press Agent
Ryuichiro Baba Ryuichiro Baba ... Concierge
Akira Yamaguchi Akira Yamaguchi ... Bellboy
Catherine Lambert ... Jazz Singer
François du Bois ... Sausalito Piano (as Francois du Bois)
Tim Leffman Tim Leffman ... Sausalito Guitar
Gregory Pekar ... American Businessman #1
Richard Allen Richard Allen ... American Businessman #2
Giovanni Ribisi ... John
Diamond Yukai Diamond Yukai ... Commercial Director (as Yutaka Tadokoro)
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Storyline

Middle-aged American movie star Bob Harris is in Tokyo to film a personal endorsement Suntory whiskey ad solely for the Japanese market. He is past his movie star prime, but his name and image still have enough cachet for him to have gotten this lucrative $2 million job. He has an unsatisfying home life where his wife Lydia follows him wherever he goes - in the form of messages and faxes - for him to deal with the minutiae of their everyday lives, while she stays at home to look after their kids. Staying at the same upscale hotel is fellow American, twenty-something recent Yale Philosophy graduate Charlotte, her husband John, an entertainment still photographer, who is on assignment in Japan. As such, she is largely left to her own devices in the city, especially when his job takes him out of Tokyo. Both Bob and Charlotte are feeling lost by their current situations, which are not helped by the cultural barriers they feel in Tokyo, those cultural barriers extending far beyond just not... Written by Huggo

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Japan

Language:

English | Japanese | German | French

Release Date:

3 October 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lost in Translation See more »

Filming Locations:

Omote-Sando, Tokyo, Japan See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$925,087, 14 September 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$44,585,453

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$119,723,856
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The temple in Kyoto that Charlotte went to was Nanzen-ji. It was odd for her to see a wedding there, however, as Japanese weddings take place in shrines, not temples. The second place she went to was Heian Jingu Shrine. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Charlotte arrives at Shibuya Crossing, the camera shot from her point of view suggests she is crossing away from Shibuya Station, viewing the dinosaur on the jumbo-tron across the street. In the shots where we actually see her crossing the street, however, she is instead walking towards the station. 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 »

Alternate Versions

To get a PG rating in Australia, the topless bar scene was deleted, but restored in later versions See more »

Connections

Referenced in De slimste mens ter wereld: Episode #10.2 (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Torn Into
Written by Mount Sims (as Matt Sims)
Performed by Mount Sims
Courtesy of Emperor Norton Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lost in Transasian
22 September 2003 | by milesfidesSee all my reviews

Wow. Kind of a 'cute' movie, riding on that independent film vibe of the individual's search of meaning in life, struggling mightily against an ignorant and heavily cynical world. Sounds like a downer? Never fear, this movie spends 85 percent of the time making fun of japanese people.

If these were scathing attacks, perhaps this movie could almost pass as parody, making fun of stereotypes by overkill is quite effective. Except these were literally, 'let's make fun of the Japanese as bizarre little benign aliens who want to become like us.' This is about two white people trying to have fun in an alien land, shaking their heads at the ridiculous customs of these funny little people, marvelling at how the Japanese could be so different from our own sensible caucasian perspectives. There is no japanese character in this movie who is not grossly caricaturized. Also, whenever Sofia Coppola directed a long lull in the film, hey, insert reocurring joke about height/accents/culture and make the audience laugh, again! There is no such thing as a tired joke in this movie, some jokes are methodically inserted every 15 minutes.

Actually, it's really worthwhile to watch Sofia Coppola deftly direct the profoundly subtle relationship between a 21-year-old yale philosophy major and a washed-up 55-year-old actor. Sure...they both...don't like their lives, do like to drink at the bar, eat food (hey at least no more jokes about monkey brains, huh? good thing this wasn't a korean movie), crack jokes about the japanese! The movie should have the tagline, "How any two white people, no matter how different in age and personality could become soulmates once thrust into this horrible technologically advanced but spiritually backwards world." Or "Peter Pan and Wendy in Captain Hook's Oriental Nevernevernightmare." This movie can be metaphorically summarized by how any two people can fall in love on a deserted island, a deserted island full of poisonous snakes, fetid water, quicksand, and erupting volcanoes.

I challenge anybody in the world,including any type of funny little aliens, to logically prove that the particular setting of Japan was necessary to the plot of the movie. Would the relationship between Bill M. and Scarlett J. be any different, if say, it took place in manhattan? Absolutely not, but we wouldn't have the 'comedy' aspect of the movie. And what makes it comedic? Are you laughing at comedy, or are you laughing at the Japanese, these common, stereotypical jokes? I challenge somebody to find any shot in this movie of a japanese person (or perhaps apes in japanese costumes) who isn't acting silly or over the top, as part of a joke, a joke in which the japanese are the being punched by the line.


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