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Monday, January 02, 2006

Movie Review: Lost in Translation

This is not a great movie. It's been widely critically acclaimed (Rotten Tomatoes rating of 95%), but compared to the delightful pair of movies Before Sunrise/Before Sunset, it felt like a complete waste of time. The characters did not have a connection other than a general sense of midlife ennui. The humor is mostly based on the juxtaposition of the typical ugly American who does not bother so much as to learn a tiny bit of a foreign language before landing on foreign shores with a modern Japanese culture that is admittedly quite bizarre. But seriously, I can't believe that a 24-year old in Japan by herself would not find more interesting things to do than what the Scarlett Johansson character did.

Two thumbs down. I feel compelled to try to save my friends the hour and 40 minutes that represent this movie.


Scarlet said...

I didn't like it much either. Yes, people who would otherwise not be friends make a connection when they're dumped into an isolating environment. While it didn't feel like a typical Hollywood movie, that really wasn't enough for me. I liked Bill Murray's character but not Johannason's so much, so I didn't really invest much into the movie. The only thing I really liked was when Murray sang "More Than This," but that's one of my favorite Roxy Music songs anyway.

Michael, on the other hand, loved it. He said one thing he particularly liked was that it was a nontraditional relationship--they didn't do the predictable thing and fall in love.

Piaw Na said...

That "nothing happened" is good post-modernism, but that's not enough for me. I want the story to actually strike a chord with me. If I want "nothing happened", I have a lifetime of experience with "nothing happened" to draw on. :-)

lahosken said...

I really liked that movie. The plot and characters were not so interesting. But the music, visuals, and... uhm... atmosphere more than made up for it.