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
The white doily seat covers in the limo are widely used in Japan. Most taxis and limos have them installed to protect the leather seat surfaces from discoloration and wear. See more »
When arriving in Kyoto, there is a scene of what appears to be a 700 Series Shinkansen arriving at the station implying that Charlotte had been riding the 700 Series. However, when Charlotte is shown walking away from a train, it is a much older 100 Series Shinkansen. See more »
Sometimes the simplest stories make the best films
I went through an array of emotions and expressions watching this film; most of them centred around how bizarre I thought it was, yet it was like a good book I simply couldn't put down even if the film itself lived up to its title at times.
This is by far the best work Bill Murray has done, and it will be a pleasant surprise for many to see him find a new (to me, anyway) side to his ability as an actor. He captures the role with such precision that you don't realise this is the same guy who, dare I even mention it in the same breath, provided the voice of Garfield last year. You see a few traces of his characteristic smugness every once in a while, but by and large the Bill Murray you see is a lot more serious... and seriously damned good.
It's such a simple story... unhappy married man meets unhappy married woman in a place neither of them are familiar with, and suddenly realise that they're all the other has got at least for the time being. In an age where Hollywood is trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to scare and shock us with something new at every turn, Sofia Coppola takes what should be the premise for a typical chick flick and turns it into something that anyone who has ever experienced an emotion of any description can watch and appreciate.
A brilliant film in any language.
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