Lost in Translation
Bill Murray's wry, laconic style is the perfect foil for Scarlett Johansson's latent haughtiness in Coppola's most perfectly realised film to date.
This seriocomic Tokyo-set charmer, penned by the director, is about two Americans abroad - fifty-something Bob Harris (Murray) and twenty-something Charlotte (Johansson) - whose jetlag-induced torpor is merely a cover for a deeper sense of crisis about where they are at in life.
While Bob, a Hollywood action star shooting an ad for whisky deflects passive aggressive faxes from his disenchanted wife back home, Charlotte tries to distract herself from the casual estrangement that has crept into her relationship with John (Giovanni Ribisi), her hipster photographer husband of two years.
Coppola orchestrates a winning intimacy between her two leads in a visually assured film that deftly interweaves the sensory overload of contemporary life in Japan. The work also features a soundtrack of perfectly attuned indie pop by Air, Phoenix, Jesus and Mary Chain and others.
"So far as the central relationship goes, the film is almost European in its subtlety and nuance. Cinematic cherry blossom." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out