Welcome to the official fan website of the movie Lost in Translation. We have compiled the most important information about the film, ranging from information about the plot, cast, and soundtracks to details about Bill Murray and Scarlet Johansson’s acting, and many more details. Please share your review of the film with us! We would love to know your opinion.
General information about Lost in Translation film
The movie Lost in Translation is an American romantic comedy-drama movie released in 2003. It was written and directed by Sofia Coppola and stars Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. Murray plays the role of aging actor Bob Harris, while Johansson plays a college graduate called Charlotte, who meets Harris at a Tokyo Hotel.
The film received plenty of critical acclaim, being nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Actor for Bill Murray, Best Picture, and Coppola being nominated for Best Director. In the end Coppola would win Best Original Screenplay and Murray and Johansson would win BAFTAs for Best Actor in a Leading Role and Best Actress in a Leading Role respectively. Lost in Translation was also a commercial success, grossing $119 million and made on a budget of $4 million and is regarded as being one of the best films from the 2000s.
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Lost in Translation Plot
Aging American movie star Bob Harris lands in Tokyo to film an ad for Suntory Whiskey. Young college graduate Charlotte is staying in a hotel room with her husband celebrity photographer John who is in Tokyo on assignment. Charlotte isn’t sure what kind of future her and John have, feeling disillusioned about their relationship and disconnected from the lifestyle he leads. Bob himself is going through a midlife crisis which is putting his own 25-year marriage in jeopardy.
Bob and Charlotte run into each other every day in the hotel and finally spend time together in the bar when both of them are unable to sleep. Charlotte invites Bob to meet her local friends and the two come together by spending a great night in Tokyo. Charlotte’s friends welcome the pair without prejudice and they enjoy the Japanese culture and nightlife. The pair spend more time together over and their platonic relationship begins to develop the longer they spend together. One night, when the pair are once again unable to sleep, they have an intimate discussion about their respective relationship problems and personal lives.
Bob spends the night with the female jazz singer at the bar on the penultimate night of his time at the hotel. Charlotte arrives the next day to invite him out for lunch and hears the woman still in his room, which leads to the pair arguing over their lunch. A fire alarm goes off later that night and the pair reconcile, express how they are going to miss each other, and spend one last night at the bar together.
Bob is ready to return to the States the next morning. He says goodbye to Charlotte in the lobby and sadly watches as she walks back to the elevator. Bob spots Charlotte in the street on his way to the airport and gets out to speak to her. He embraces Charlotte one more time and whispers in her ear. The two kiss, say their goodbyes, and Bob leaves.
- Bill Murray as Bob Harris
- Scarlett Johansson as Charlotte
- Giovanni Ribisi as John
- Fumihiro Hayashi as Charlie Brown
- Anna Faris as Kelly
- Akiko Takeshita as Ms. Kawasaki
- Takashi Fujii as TV Host
- Francois Du Bois as the Pianist
- Hiromix as Herself
Coppola came up with the idea for the movie after taking several trips to Tokyo in her twenties. Most of the story is based around the experiences she had in the country. Coppola was drawn to the neon lights of the city of Tokyo and described Park Hyatt Tokyo – the location for the interior scenes of the movie – as being one of her favourite places in the world. She was particularly drawn to the quietness, design, and blending of cultures; which included a French restaurant and a New York bar.
Coppola wrote the film over a series of six months, starting out with impressions and short stories that formed a 70-page script. She wanted to put together something that was funnier and more romantic than the last film she made – The Virgin Suicides – and said she didn’t spend too much time planning or rewriting the script. She refers to the film as being a “valentine” to Tokyo, saying that the movie displays the city in a way that was meaningful to her.
Coppola says the movie was written with Murray in mind and that the movie would never have been made without him. She admitted she had always wanted to work with Murray and that she was drawn to his sweet and loveable side. She pursued Murray for between five months and a year, sending him endless telephone messages and letters. She got help from Wes Anderson – who had worked with Murray in two films – and mutual friend Mitch Glazer. Coppola even sought help from Al Pacino, who was living in the same area as Murray at the time. Coppola and Murray finally met in a restaurant in July 2002, and he agreed to work with her because he felt that he couldn’t let her down. Even so, Murray never signed a contract to do the movie. Coppola described Murray arriving in Tokyo as a huge relief because it confirmed his commitment to the movie.
Scarlett Johansson came to the attention of Coppola when she starred in Manny and Lo. Coppola noted her understated and subtle demeanour, saying she was a young Lauren Bacall-esque girl. Johansson was 17 at the time and immediately accepted the part. Coppola was happy about the maturity that she felt Johansson brought to the character. She says that she was influenced by the relationship between Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep by Howard Hawks. Neither Murray or Johansson auditioned for their roles before shooting started.
The movie was released on February 3,2004 on DVD. The movie was rated “A” by Entertainment Weekly, who criticised a lack of bonus features on the DVD but praised the movie for standing as a valentine to the mystery of attraction.
Lost in Translation was also released on the now-defunct HD DVD format and in high definition. It was re-released on Blu-Ray on January 4, 2011, almost 7 years to the day since its original DVD release.
The soundtrack of Lost in Translation, supervised by Brian Reitzell, was released on September 9, 2003 by Emperor Norton Records. The soundtrack includes five songs from Kevin Shields, including one from the group My Bloody Valentine. Coppola said most of the soundtrack was songs that she liked and was listening to and that she worked with Reitzell to create Tokyo dream pop mixes.
The movie also includes the song Just Like Honey by The Jesus and Mary Chain. The soundtrack was ranked four out of five stars by Allmusic, who said that the impressionist and romantic soundtrack matched up well with the impressionistic romance of the movie and that it was as important to the movie as Bill and Scarlett.
Agathi Glezakos, an academic who wrote a review of Lost in Translation, noted that the music of the karaoke scene in the movie constituted a common language that allowed Bob and Charlotte to connect with the Japanese people they were otherwise alienated from. Brass in Pocket by the Pretenders was chosen in the scene to showcase the lively side of Charlotte, while (What’s so Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding was included to establish that Bob was from another generation. Murray and Coppola together chosen the song More than This by Roxy Music during filming because they felt that the lyrics of the song matched the story and were fans of the band.
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- Box Office
Lost in Translation was screened at the Telluride Film Festival in 2003. It had a limited release on September 12, 2003, showing in 23 theatres and grossing $925,087 on its opening weekend. Each theatre drew in an average of $40,221 and the movie ranked 15th at the box office. It had a wide release on October 3, 2003 in 864 theatres, grossing $4,163,333; averaging $4,818 per theatre and ranking 7th. The film would make a total of $44,585,453 in North America and $75,138,402 in the rest of the world to gross $119,723,856 overall.
- Critical Response Edit
Lost in Translation received great critical acclaim, particularly for the performances of the actors and the direction and screenplay of Coppola. The movie has a score of 95% on Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 8.4 out of 10 based on 223 reviews. The critical consensus on the site is that the film effectively balances humor and subtle pathos to create a moving and melancholic story that brilliantly showcases both main actors. The film also holds a score on 89 out of 100 on Metacritic, based on 43 reviews.
Lost in Translation received an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 2003. The movie was also nominated for Best Picture and Best Director but lost out to Lord of the Rings; The Return of the King. Bill Murray was nominated for Best Actor but lost out to Sean Penn for his role in Mystic River.
Lost in Translation received Golden Globes for Best Musical or Comedy Motion Picture, Best Musical or Comedy Actor, and Best Screenplay. It was also nominated for Best Musical or Comedy Actress and Best Director.
The movie won the BAFTA for Best Editing, Best Actor, and Best Actress. It also received nominations for best film, original screenplay, director, music and cinematography. It also won four IFP. Independent Spirit Awards for Best Feature, Male Lead, Director, and Screenplay. Finally, the film received the original screenplay award from the Writers Guild of America.