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Lost in Translation (15)



Review by: Graeme Kay | Rating: Two

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Deleted scenes; Behind the scenes; A conversation with Bill Murray and Sofia Coppola; Trailer; Kevin Shields music video 'City Girl'.

MELANCHOLY tale about an isolated man and a lonely woman, each caught up in a personal life-crisis.

Bob Harris (Bill Murray) is a fading, fifty-something movie star who makes a fortune from advertising whisky in Japan.

In Tokyo to shoot a new commercial, he finds himself stationed in a luxurious downtown hotel where his hawkish minders watch his every move, making him feel trapped, uncomfortable and unable to sleep.

Also staying in the hotel is a recently married, but neglected, twenty-something, Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), who is in town with her husband, a professional photographer.

Lonely and bored, Bob and Charlotte strike up an unlikely friendship, each attempting to help the other with their problem: in his case, a man questioning the value of his life and work: in hers, a woman wondering where she should start on both counts.

But the big question is; will the friendship turn into romance?

The second film from director, Sofia Coppola (who made her debut with The Virgin Suicides), Lost In Translation is a witty, insightful study of the human need for fulfilment and companionship, and is based, to some extent, on the director's own experiences in Japan.

Bill Murray largely plays it straight, although his scene with a Japanese prostitute is as funny as anything he has ever done.

His dry humour and his lived-in face perfectly convey the hopelessness he feels as he tries to come to terms with his personal demons.

His world-weariness forms a sharp contrast to Ms Johansson's convincing portrayal of an innocent abroad, who is learning and taking strength from every new experience.

Together they make a great team.

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