Sofia Coppola's second feature-length film focuses on two guests at a Tokyo hotel--Bob (Bill Murray), a middle-aged actor in town to film whiskey commercials, and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), the young wife of a trendy photographer (Giovanni Ribisi) who is always out on a shoot. When Bob isn't on the job taking fragmented direction from the Japanese crew, he's receiving faxes on home decorating from his emotionally distant wife. And while her husband is away, Charlotte spends most of her time trying to motivate herself to do more than look out the window at Tokyo's urban sprawl. So when the two meet in the hotel bar, they strike up an unusual friendship, one that provides a welcome escape from their boredom and loneliness.
With LOST IN TRANSLATION, Coppola cements her reputation as a thoughtful and inventive filmmaker. Every element of the movie is pitch-perfect, from the dreamy, atmospheric score to the expertly timed editing to the lingering shots of the characters and the city. Most importantly, Coppola's minimalist script allows Murray and Johansson to give astonishingly moving yet subtle performances as people who are lost in the limbo of a foreign country, but find each other for comfort and companionship. Both heartbreakingly sad and hilariously funny, Coppola's LOST IN TRANSLATION is that rare movie in which everything is in its right place.
Academy Awards Best Original Screenplay 2003 Sofia Coppola American Actress/Screenwriter/Director