Lost in Translation

Poster for Lost in Translation

Winter 2004 Main series

Sunday, January 11, 2004 at 4:00pm
Sunday, January 11, 2004 at 7:00pm
Monday, January 12, 2004 at 7:00pm

Empire Theatres, New Minas, NS

Directed by


Rated PG · 1h 45m

With Lost In Translation (a Special Presentation at the 2003 Toronto International Film Festival), Sophia Coppola establishes herself as one of the most distinctive young talents in contemporary American cinema. The film centres around two Americans who meet in Tokyo and spend an increasingly intimate week together amid the unfamiliar sights and sounds of the city. Bill Murray (The Royal Tenenbaums) puts in a potential Oscar turn as Bob, a well-known actor, whose product endorsement career seems to have overtaken his artistic pursuits when he arrives in Tokyo to shoot a series of whisky advertisements. Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson, Ghost World, The Man Who Wasn’t There), a recent University graduate, is visiting Tokyo with her husband John (Giovanni Ribisi, Saving Private Ryan), a photographer on assignment. She and John have been married for two years, but the clumsiness of their communication gives their relationship the appearance of a fledgling romance. Through a series of meandering telephone calls, we learn Bob’s marriage is similarly dysfunctional. Bob and Charlotte are staying in the same hotel—but neither can sleep, so they wander the hallways in search of relief for their disoriented bodies and minds while they develop a friendship through their constant chance meetings. With consummate artistry, Coppola brings them ever closer together, rendering their developing relationship in the most delicate and mature terms. Murray is at his subtle best as a man so accustomed to being on display for others he has become alienated from himself, protected and further disconnected by his shell of deadpan humour, while Johansson balances Charlotte’s vulnerability and confusion with youthful wisdom. In Coppola’s assured hands the hotel, with its murmurs and cavernous echoes, becomes an otherworldly environment, one very different from the dazzling urban landscape of Tokyo’s traditional sights and sounds – teeming with video arcades, banks of neon lights, unfamiliar food and language. Lost In Translation confirms Coppola’s sensitivity as a film maker in this remarkably mature, comp film about marriage, loyalty and the suffocation and bewilderment of love.

“One of the purest and simplest examples ever of a director falling in love with her stars’ gifts.” – Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times

“Tart and sweet, unmistakably funny and exceptionally well observed.” – Kenneth Turan, The Los Angeles Times

“There is real magic afoot – the sort that is created not at the wave of a wizard’s wand, but by the coming together of two wayward souls.” – Terry Lawson, The Detroit Free Press

“Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson give performances that will be talked about for years.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone