LIT Fan Reviews for the site

Discuss the fabulous movie Lost In Translation!

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LIT Fan Reviews for the site

#1 Post by Guest » Sat May 01, 2004 11:18 pm

I'm so glad to see people coming "back"!!

I would like to add a section to the site for fan reviews.
Of course people can post their reviews and discuss them here but
I would like to add standalone reviews for site content.
The review can be as long or short as you want. It doesn't matter
if the review is "critic" like or more from the heart as long as it expresses
what you think and feel about the film.

Just email them to me or post here.



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LIT review

#2 Post by jm » Mon May 03, 2004 10:22 pm

[b:fd7e04ce21]Lost in Translation[/b:fd7e04ce21][/size:fd7e04ce21] (US release: September 12, 2003).
Directed by Sofia Coppola.
Starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson.

I regret having been completely ineffectual in trying to get other people to see Lost in Translation. I have seen it five times, but I am still speechless when asked, "What's it about?" Uh, well, it's about loneliness, it's about a connection between two people that has a chance beginning and a necessary ending, it's about being isolated in an alien culture -- look, it's just a great movie, so go see it!

But that isn't convincing anyone. I've seen it five times, and I inevitably hear someone say as we walk out that it was "boring." Well, that is a legitimate point of view, if you have certain expectations when you go to the movies. To me, Lost in Translation is a great movie. It's about Bob Harris, an action film star in the autumn of his career, a role written especially for and played brilliantly by Bill Murray. He is in the very alien culture of Japan to pose in advertising for Suntory whiskey. It's about Charlotte (whose last name we don't learn), recently graduated with a degree in philosophy, who has tagged along with her husband of two years on his business trip to Tokyo. She is wonderfully played by Scarlett Johansson. The movie establishes Bob and Charlotte's isolation, intelligence, and discomfort with themselves and their place in the world, before bringing them together. They enjoy a friendship which could but never does become an adulterous affair, and which ends after a week.

It is a movie about two people who feel isolated and out of place, struggling to capture a few consecutive hours of happiness. I think that similar people are the audience for this movie. "Ordinary" moviegoers have probably found it boring. I found it to be very beautiful.

The movie opens with a view of Charlotte on the bed of her room in the Park Hyatt Hotel in Tokyo. She is probably reading, but all we see is her hips and thighs, and she is dressed only in a t-shirt and sheer pink panties. This sets up our expectations for a sexual component to the friendship.

Bob Harris's isolation is shown as he reaches the hotel, where he is greeted by representatives from Suntory. One of them speaks English and introduces the others, who present gifts and business cards, and then bid him a goodnight. He is then presented with a fax from his wife, Lydia, whose understanding of his forgetting his son's birthday only underscores the fact that he did forget. Their communications throughout the movie are not encouraging: Lydia seems sarcastic and scolding, more putting up with Bob than loving him.

We see Charlotte in the middle of the night, watching her husband John sleep and listening to his snoring. She is seated in the window, looking down at the lights of the city. During the day, while John is at work, Charlotte takes the train to visit a temple and expressionlessly watches the monks as they hold a ceremony. Back at the hotel, she phones a friend in America. Not quite holding back her tears, she tells her friend, "I don't know who I married" -- but her friend isn't listening and merely wishes her a nice stay in Japan.

Bob and Charlotte orbit for a while before they actually meet. They exchange glances in the elevator, and laugh at the singer in the hotel bar from across a distance. When they finally meet in the bar one night, they exchange quips and bemoan how they cannot sleep. They continue in their isolation until they finally meet at night outside the hotel pool, she exiting and he entering. They can find few words, but stand in front of each other, feeling a connection they don't want to let go. Charlotte's husband is now out of town for a few days, and she invites Bob to join her and some Japanese friends that night.

Next, we see Charlotte as Bob raps rhythmically on her door. She is finally excited and animated, and hurries to let him in. He appears in a orange camouflage t-shirt, about which she has to observe, "You really are having a midlife crisis." "I was afraid of that," he admits, and goes to her bathroom to turn it inside out. She waits outside the bathroom, looking in and looking away and looking back, curious and expectant.

The spend the long night with Charlotte's friend Charlie Brown and his friends, going to clubs, running through the streets, singing karaoke. This night does not involve deep conversations, but Bob and Charlotte do begin to orbit each other more closely. They spend time with each other and with other members of the party.

As the night wears on, they sing karaoke. This is strictly silly at first: Charlie Brown sings "God Save the Queen" and Bob sings Elvis Costello's "(What's So Funny 'bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding." Then an interesting undertone develops. Charlotte, now in a pink wig, sings the Pretenders's "Brass in Pocket," her eyes on Bob:

Gonna use my arms, gonna use my legs
Gonna use my style, gonna use my side-step
Gonna use my fingers, gonna use my, my, my, my 'magination
'Cause I gonna make you see
There's nobody else here -- no one like me
I'm special, so special
I gotta have some of your attention -- give it to me!

Later, Bob sings Roxy Music's "More Than This," and turns to Charlotte for the chorus. She coyly looks away, but looks back slowly and with intensity. "More than this, you know there's nothing / More than this, tell me one thing more than this / Ooh, there's nothing..." The movie stops the song there, but the song itself continues:

It was fun for a while, there was no way of knowin'
Like a dream in the night, who could say where we're goin'

The night ends with Bob carrying a sleeping Charlotte in his arms. He makes his way past the empty breakfast trays in the hall to her room, opens the door, enters, and lays her on her bed. He pulls the covers over her, and looks at her, waiting. She looks at him, smiles, and curls up for sleep, eyes closed.

Bob makes a resigned face, stands, and leaves. Back in his room, he calls his wife. They have a strained conversation and he remarks as he hangs up, "That was a stupid idea."

Having formed a connection within the safety of a crowd, the next day they spend just with each other.

That night, Charlotte's friends asked her to meet them at a club, and she invites Bob. He arrives before Charlotte and finds that it is a strip club. Bob obviously would rather be anywhere else, and when Charlotte arrives, they leave. They return to their hotel and wind up in Bob's room, watching television and drinking Suntory whiskey. Charlotte, on the floor leaning against the bed, and Bob, on the bed, discuss when they first saw each other. Bob remembers her from the elevator; Charlotte from the hotel bar, where he looked "dashing. I loved your mascara."

Later, they are both on the bed. Charlotte says, "Let's never come here again because it would never be as much fun." "Whatever you say," agrees Bob. "You're the boss." The TV off, they talk as sleep slowly takes them. Charlotte questions Bob about life and marriage, and he counsels, "The more you know who you are and what you want, the less you let things upset you." Before they sleep, Charlotte says, "John thinks I'm so snotty." Bob laughs, and puts his hand on her foot. "You're not hopeless."

Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson are completely natural in their roles and in interacting with each other. There is nothing in the movie to make one question that it's a long eavesdropping on two real lives which have intersected. Their body language and timing as they talk, tentatively or intimately, are perfect.

Bob gets another call from his wife, and it is clear that they don't even want to speak to each other. What happens next is a surprise, and it is not really explained or dealt with, although it is useful to illustrate a point. Bob, sleepless, is in the bar again. The hotel singer sits next to him, orders champagne, and looks over at him, and coos, "Hi." The next morning, Bob awakes in his room, and realizes that he's slept with the singer. She passes the bed, singing, and he cringes.

Charlotte knocks on the door, and he jumps to it, disheveled. "Have a rough night?" she inquires, and asks him to lunch. "Do you want to come?" "Yeah, but I can't right now." The singer starts singing. Charlotte tries to hold her expression as she says, "Yeah, I guess you're busy, huh?," but she lets her hurt show just before she leaves.

They do meet for lunch. Charlotte keeps her face under control as she picks at Bob: "Well, she is closer to your age," and remarks that maybe the singer liked the movies he was making in the seventies "when you still were making movies." Bob returns, "Wasn't there anyone else there to lavish you with attention?"

Of course, later they make up, without exchanging many words. Bob is to leave the next morning, and they sit in the bar, holding hands and saying little. Bob says, "I don't want to leave." Charlotte says, "So don't. Stay here with me. We'll start a jazz band." They sadly smile at each other.

Why does Bob sleep with the singer? I think because he can't sleep with Charlotte. He really can't -- it wouldn't work at all. A younger man would be foolish enough to, but Bob can see that it would be just a stupid thing to do. Bob can screw the singer only because she means nothing to him; Charlotte means a great deal to him, and if and when to sleep with someone you have any regard for is a complicated matter.

Bob hates what he is doing. He hates doing the Suntory whiskey ads when he "could be doing a play somewhere." He hates talking to his wife, because they don't connect anymore. He hates doing what he feels he has to do, and he hates not doing the things that he wants to do.

Charlotte is similarly lost, but at a point in her life thirty years earlier than Bob's age. She has married John, but they do not connect and are never at ease with each other. She doesn't have a clue about what she wants to do with her life, or how to do that which she doesn't know what it is to do.

Bob and Charlotte are both isolated from others, by their intelligence and their cynical yet caring outlook. They would be isolated back home. Being in Tokyo brings it to a breaking point, forcing them to connect. In the United States, they might recognize a commonality between each other, but being in the alien and isolating Japanese city makes their need for a kindred spirit so great that they make contact. Out on the town with Charlotte's friend Charlie Brown, they act fools just to be together. Nothing is more important at that point to them than finding someone much like them. Their great sadness at parting comes half from leaving each other, and half from losing the type of connection which is few and far between.

Written by johnmonkey on November 15, 2003
Last edited by jm on Sat Feb 17, 2007 2:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.


Re: LIT review

#3 Post by Guest » Mon May 03, 2004 11:33 pm

johnmonkey wrote:Well my review is here:
Ok great!
On my to do list is also to link to your page talking about the "controversy" regarding the film and some Japanese people's
perception of it.


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My review

#4 Post by Luigi » Wed May 05, 2004 12:36 am

[Updated 2010, corrected link] I have a review in Portuguese in my blog: ... ara-a-vida
Last edited by Luigi on Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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#5 Post by jeffyen » Thu May 06, 2004 4:00 am

Luigi, I've tried to read a translation of your article here, but towards the end of the page, the whole thing looks like lost in translation! LOL :D

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#6 Post by sheyit » Tue May 11, 2004 1:06 am

*THE* most touching movie I have ever seen.
100% heartfelt, genuine, grounded, simple, blatantly honest, mesmerizing, thought-provoking, soulful, HUMAN.

There really is too much to say about this movie... but this is a start! The fact that people still talk and post comments and thoughts about it months after its release is an ode to LiT's effect on so many people's lives.

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#7 Post by Glyphiks » Sun May 30, 2004 9:31 pm

^^^^Yeah, well-said. I agree....

I've thought about this film a lot, even when not watching it.



hated this movie

#8 Post by slacker315 » Mon Jun 21, 2004 6:36 pm

this movie SUCKED if u go to c this and like it u are an idiot this was the worst bill film ever i would rather kill myself then watch it again im an insomniac and fell asleep durring it i watched agian and still hated it this move should be burned to the firey depths :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!:

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Your Poor Review of LIT

#9 Post by phillygalinutah » Thu Jun 24, 2004 11:21 pm

Obviously, it says a lot about you when your best description of LIT is it "sucks". :roll:

I can appreciate posters with a well-thought negative review viewpoint, but yours is not. Obviously, you're just floating on the net with too much free time on your hands and using it to "spam" sites with rude posts.



#10 Post by Guest » Fri Jun 25, 2004 12:50 am

Im not sure what to make of that post. On the one hand I think its important to allow people to express their feelings about the movie but on the other this one, aside from being slightly amusing, doesn't add anything to one's understanding of such a point of view. Ok so the movie is about insomiacs and this guy is one too and found that watching the movie cured his insomnia which in a way is a positive review for the movie or at least this guy finding something to help him. Im sure we've all had those times where we were watching something on tv, even something we liked, but eventually couldnt keep our eyes open.

But at any rate Im not sure I should delete it outright because I dont want to seem heavyhanded or intolerant and to me its more of a rant than patently offensive and abusive. I could ban him or give him a chance to make a more meaningful contribution to the site. But if the posts continue to pop up like that then I will delete them because they are counter to the spirit of the forum. People can let me know what they think about that. Thanks.


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#11 Post by jeffyen » Sun Jun 27, 2004 10:33 pm

There's no need to delete such threads. It's even harmful in some ways actually... Unless it's clearcut personal flamewar/insults, that's a different story. :)

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#12 Post by hull_street » Wed Jul 07, 2004 8:53 pm

I agree. I don't mind criticism of the film, as long as it's not just trolling. In that light, I have a link to a "parental guide" to the film. And they think that *we're* nit-picky ! :roll: ... ation.html

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#13 Post by KKDallas » Wed Jul 07, 2004 9:12 pm

hull_street wrote:I agree. I don't mind criticism of the film, as long as it's not just trolling. In that light, I have a link to a "parental guide" to the film. And they think that *we're* nit-picky ! :roll: ... ation.html
Thanks for posting the parental review site. I am a huge fan of LIT and I find the areas for concern to be kind of funny. You are right...NIT PICKY!!
They list so many instances of people drinking beer and whiskey. A good portion of the movie takes place in the New York Bar in the hotel. What else was Sophia going to show......people drinking chocolate milk? :)

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#14 Post by hull_street » Wed Jul 07, 2004 9:46 pm

I liked this line particularly:
After a drunken patron gets rowdy, a bartender pulls out what appears to be a machine gun and fires at him and others (we see flashes of light from its barrel, but it must be a fake or toy as no bullets come out)
Well, yeah, this film would have been _quite_ a different animal if the machine gun had been *real*. It might have made for a slightly more dramatic hospital scene, as well. Plus, they'd have to rename the film, "You've Been Strafed, Charlie Brown".

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My take on it...

#15 Post by bloomer » Fri Aug 27, 2004 11:08 pm

Monkey, I was starting to read your review when I realised a haven't even posted my own review nor have I even reflected on what the movie means to me.

So here goes...

LIT is a movie that is a study on the human need to love and to have that love requitted. Charlotte is a young woman who has hurried through her formal education and married another youthful person. He seems to be a kind and caring person but inadvertantly does not fulfill Charlottes needs. She is confused as evidenced by her talk with her friend at home and the listening to self help tapes. Her confusion stems from the fact that her mate is not being blatantly mean to her which would give her cause to vent her frustrations on him or worst case leave. She thinks there is something wrong with [u]her[/u].

Bob is an aging actor stuck in a semiloveless marriage. He makes it quite clear that he is there for his children and thats a primary reason why he sticks it out. His wife Lydia seems to have given up on the relationship as well and seems content with that, acknoledging that they need to stick it out and be there for the children.

When the two meet, you can tell that there is an immediate spark. Im sure everyone here has had this kind of spark. Butterflies in the stomache can leave you feeling nauseous but never feel so good.

Isolated from thier spouses and stuck in a foreign land they are not so much drawn as they are forced together in a destiny sort of fashion. Bob finds in Charlotte an intelligent woman who is interested in him and his shortcomings (midlife crisis?). Charlotte has an odd facination with Bob, almost as a father figure but much more deeply than that. This is evidenced by thier late night talk on the bed.

The movie is a fantastic examination of modern Japanese culture. Although I can see where some people would have the understanding that the movie is racist I cannot disagree more. The use of some stereotypes , (some of which are in fact actually quite common), simply allows the viewer to immediately relate to the scene instead of having to explain the intricacies of a foreign land.

An account of the actors.

Bill Murray was this picture.

Incredible how he was able to turn off his comedic ability and turn it on in a second at Sophias direction. Several bits which were quite obviously improved were genius. But lets not forget his acting as a flawed, shy, aging movie star.

Scarlett Johansson performed adequately. She was helped by the fact that she was a relative unknown and was able to stand back and let Bill work his magic. I'm not knocking her. She is a competant actor and performed admirably in LIT, I just think she was overshadowed by Bill.

Giovanni Ribisi is a competant performer , and AI thought he used the role well.

Anna Faris was fantastic, completely imersing herself in the shallow persona of Kelly. Very funny as well, brought her few lines to life.

I think the best part of this film was the cinematography. Thrilling views of the Tokyo skyline, beautiful shots inside the Park Hyatt, great job at Shibuya crossing, and moving moments at the temples and Mt. Fuji.

Final kudo must go to sophia herself for sublime directing, knowing when to contain Bill and let him go, and certainly for her brilliant screenplay.

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#16 Post by Blissbomb » Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:57 pm

I dont want to do another movie review, I just want to share what LIT has confirmed for me, that being a traveller is the best that a human being can be. When your travelling the propensity for having LIT moments increases tenfold. When you travel you meet up with other travellers that are searching for LIT moments. When you stay at home and do the daily grind, going to the same old places, school , work, shops, your chances of having a LIT moment are vastly reduced.

I have often wondered about friends that have taken off traveling by themselves? It seemed obsurd to me! Now I know why they are taking off, leaving everyone else behind, cause they know the chances of having many LIT moments is only a plane flight away.

I was watching a game show once that had a fellow on that called himself a traveller. He said that he had been to 17 different countries around the world and he was the happiest person I have ever seen and he was only 21. Imagine how many LIT moments this guy has had.

So when people ask me what I want to be when I finally grow up, I reply
Lost in World

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#17 Post by phillygalinutah » Sun Aug 29, 2004 8:17 pm

Blissbomb, I couldn't agree more that it's great to be a traveller :) I just returned from a week long business trip to Virginia. I enjoyed a VERY NICE LIT 90 minute flight from Atlanta to Virginia with a man named Tim. I had casually noticed him as we waited to board, but hadn't realized he had overheard my two girlfriends and I laughing about my friend's story of her dog's encounter with a moose hanging out in their backyard. By luck, he was seated next to me. He was very curious where I lived (Utah) that we had moose around our homes! As it turned out, we both were on business trips. During the course of discussion, we talked about both being married with kids, enjoying boating, and agreeing that it's not much fun just sitting around a hotel to watch TV after each day's business meeting. We weren't travelling to the same VA cities, but we exchanged different restaurant and sight ideas. I think he would have preferred to have joined my fireinds and I as we were attending a conference. He certainly was a kindred spirit for me in regard to a desire to explore a new city while on travel 8)
"Everyone wants to be found"

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Dont we all want to be travellers?

#18 Post by Rogue Angel » Mon Oct 11, 2004 3:27 am

I think many of us, especially those of us who have the opportunity to fly and travel have small 'moments', those people you meet in the airport, maybe someone helps you carry a heavy bag or, just someone you happen to be randomly seated to on that long cross-country flight and you strike up a convesation with. I can think of several instances about the interesting people I've met while traveling, and many of the stories I still tell to people.

I'm not going to do a fan review either, because there's no point. Everything that I feel about the movie has already been said by you all, I'd just be redundant. My view though is a bit different, I didn't see this movie in the theater like most of you. I had a huge "Lost in Translation moment", then found out about the movie and the two tied themselves together nicely.

I was on a conference in Minneapolis, MN (I live in Texas) representing my college campus and organization that sponsored this conference. While at our hotel, I ran into some old friends that I'd known from other conferences and met their sponsor/advisor. BAM! Alan and I hit off instantly despite the 12 year age difference, and we ended up spending most of the conference together. He and I along with my own sponsor were at a jazz club (yeah, go figure!) late Friday night and they were talking about this movie, so I decided I absolutely had to watch it when I flew home to Texas. The conference lasted 4 days, 4 very magical and wonderous days, completely Lost in Translation, even down to the "I dont want to leave....". Neither he nor myself could explain, nor still can we explain just the inexorable pull that drew us together that weekend. Sometimes you really do have to go half way around the world, or country as was my case, to come full circle.

I flew home sad and happy at the same time, not knowing if I'd see him again. Thankfully we did and 6 months later we're still together. I saw the movie a couple days after returning, and was just enthralled from the beginning. I laughed and cried and even though it didn't end the way I'd hoped, it still made me smile and truly touched me, especially considering Alan told me that I'm his Scarlett Johansson. :D Normally I dont like endings where the guy doenst get the girl, and even thought that Bogart shouldve gotten Bergman in Casablanca, but this movie ended in such a way that it didn't really matter. LiT is now one of my favorite movies and definately a 'feel good' movie for me.

Sorry I blathered on and on, but I just wanted to throw my two cents in as a new person here.... :mrgreen:
Sometimes you have to go half way around the world to come full circle....


Re: Dont we all want to be travellers?

#19 Post by Guest » Mon Oct 11, 2004 3:33 am

Rogue Angel wrote:I flew home sad and happy at the same time, not knowing if I'd see him again.
Thank you very much for sharing that. :)

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#20 Post by Rogue Angel » Mon Oct 11, 2004 4:06 am

Thank you! :) I just think its cool that people want to listen and that we can all get together and discuss such a great movie and how its impacted all of us in some way.
Sometimes you have to go half way around the world to come full circle....

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