My 50 Favorite Movies -- Lost in Translation (2003)

I wasn't going to post this one so soon, because its so new, but I watched it tonight and couldn't resist. 

I'm not a particularly good traveler, so when I think of what it would be like to stay in Japan, I picture myself as out of place as Bill Murray.  In fact, if you had to cast anyone as an out of place character, from the less than scientific Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters to the perpetually stuck Phil Connors in Groundhog Day, Bill Murray would be your guy.  Its almost as if the casting agent says, "I don't want someone to actually do any acting.  I just want the whole movie to happen to this guy, and we'll just watch it happening to him." 

And that's what Lost in Translation does... it happens to Bill Murray.  He doesn't ask for it.  He doesn't try to meet Scarlett Johansson.  He doesn't really even want to be on talk shows or have his name up in lights.  But yet, its not like he has a clear idea of what else he wants to be doing either.  I think I'd like my life to happen to me a little more once in a while... instead of me needing to push and nudge and make things happen.  Why doesn't Scarlett Johansson just randomly show up in my life, you know?  Maybe she blogs and uses Technorati or PubSub to find herself...  you never know. 

Anyway, the soundtrack of this movie is perfect, but I'm not sure it would stand alone just to be listened to.  Its more of a score and fits perfectly with the movie.  There are some great music scenes, like Murray's karaoke rendition of "More Than This".  In fact, the whole movie is just very well put together.  I'm glad Sofia Coppola can write and direct, because she sure as hell can't act her way out of a paper cup.  (As far as I remember, there were only two Godfather movies, right?)

Like a lot of the movies that will be on my list, though, nothing much happens in this movie.  There's really no plot.  Its just a few days in the lives of two mismatched, but perfectly matched, Americans in Japan.  Nothing really changes in their lives at the end, or does everything change?  What does he whisper in her ear at the end?  On one hand, the idealistic part of me hopes he doesn't cheapen the whole experience by telling her to look him up in the states or something, but, on the other hand, I sure wouldn't mind Giovanni Riobisi's character get kicked to the curb in a hurry.  Anyone care to comment on what they think he said?