2003 Milk Plus Droogies

Best Picture
Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Director
Quentin Tarantino, Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Actor (tie)
Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean

Best Actor (tie)
Bill Murray, Lost in Translation

Best Actress
Uma Thurman, Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Supporting Actor
David Hyde Pierce, Down With Love

Best Supporting Actress
Miranda Richardson, Spider

Best Screenplay
Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation

Best Foreign Film

Best Cinematography
Harris Savides, Gerry

Members' Marquees

Critical Contacts

Lobby Reading

The Video Store

Reel Resources

The Blog Bijou

-Admit One
-Artistic Delusions
-Belligerent Bunny's Bad Movie Shrine
-Beware of Blog
-The Brain Drain
Biancolo Notes
-The Big Ticket
-Bitter Cinema
-Black & White World
-Bull Durham's Hot Corner
-Brewed Fresh Daily
-Camille's Film Journal
-The Chutry Experiment
-Cineblog (II)
-Cine Club
-Cinegraphic.Net: The Avante-Garde Film and Video Blog
-Cinema 24
-Cinema News
-Il Cinema Secondo (Italian)
-Cineaste (Russian)
-Cinema Toast
-Concentrated Nonsense
-Confessions of an Indie Filmmaker
-Cult Movies I Dare You to Watch
-Cutting to the Chase
-Cynthia Rockwell's Waiting Room
-The Daily Despair
-The Daily Digest
-Day for Night
-Delta Sierra Arts
-Dinky's Docket
-Distorting the Medium
-Donald Melanson On Movies
-Electric Movies
-Fade In: Blog
-Feeling Listless
-Filmfilter (German)
-Filmtagebuch (German)
-Film Talk
-Five Easy Pieces
-Frank Booth
-A Girl and A Gun
-Glazed Donuts
-GreenCine Daily
-Harlequin Knights
-He Loved Him Some Movies
-The Hobo Reviews
-Hot Buttered Death
-Iggy's Movie Review Weblog
-Iguano Film Blog
-In Development
-Japanese Films' Journal
-Joe Sixpack's Film Blog
-Joe's Weblog & Film Project News
-Junk for Code
-Kumari's Movie Blog
-Lights Out Films
-Like Anna Karina's Sweater (Filmbrain)
-Listen Missy
-Magnolia Girl
-Marley's Ghost
-Media Yenta
-Michael I. Trent
-Moov Goog
-Motime Like the Present
-Movie Boy
-Movie Criticism For the Retarded
-A Movie Diary
-The Movie Generation
-The Movie Marketing Blog
-Movie Retard
-The Movie Review
-Moving Pictures
-Nando's Blog
-Netflix Fan
-Or Kill Me
-Out of Ambit
-Out of Focus
-Paolo - Cinema's Radio Weblog (Italian)
-Pigs and Battleships
-Plot Kicks In
-Pop Culture Junkies
-The Projector
-Qwipster's Movie Reviews
-Reel Reviews (Podcast)
-Reviews, Reviews, Reviews
-The Screening Room
-Screen Watcher
-Short and Sweet
-The Silver Screen
-Stinky Cinema
-Sunset Blvd
-Tagline: A Movie Weblog
Talking Pictures
Tea for One
-Tom Vick's Asian Cinema Blog
-Trailer Park
-Truly Bad Films
Waste of Tape
-Wayne's Movie Blog
Whippin Picadilly
Wittgenstein's Bunnies
-Yay! Movies!
McBain Recommends
-Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
-Kill Bill vol 2
Shroom Recommends
-Top 20 List
-Head On
Joker Recommends
-Top 20 List
-House of Flying Daggers
-The Aviator
-Bad Education
Yun-Fat Recommends
-Eight Diagram Pole Fighter
-Los Muertos
-Tropical Malady
Allyn Recommends
-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
-Songs from the Second Floor
Phyrephox Recommends
-Top 20 List
-Design for Living (Lubitsch, 1933)
-War of the Worlds
-Howl's Moving Castle
Melisb Recommends
-Top 20 List
-The Return
-Spirited Away
-Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...And Spring
Wardpet Recommends
-Finding Nemo
-Man on the Train
-28 Days Later
Lorne Recommends
-21 Grams
-Cold Mountain
-Lost in Translation
Merlot Recommends
-Top 20 List
-The Man on the Train
-Safe Conduct
-The Statement
Whitney Recommends
-Femme Fatale
-Gangs of New York
-Grand Illusion
Sydhe Recommends
-In America
-Looney Tunes: Back In Action
-Whale Rider
Copywright Recommends
Top 20 List
-Flowers of Shanghai
-Road to Perdition
Stennie Recommends
Top 20 List
-A Matter of Life and Death
Rodney Recommends
Top 20 List
-The Pianist
-Talk to Her
Jeff Recommends
-Dial M for Murder
-The Game
-Star Wars Saga
Lady Wakasa Recommends
-Dracula: Page from a Virgin's Diary
-Dr. Mabuse, Der Spieler
-The Last Laugh
Steve Recommends
-Top 20 List
-Princess Raccoon
-Princess Raccoon
-Princess Raccoon
Jenny Recommends
-Mean Girls
-Super Size Me
-The Warriors
Jason Recommends
Top 20 List
-Old Boy
-Million Dollar Baby
-Head On
Lons Recommends
-Before Sunset
-The Incredibles

Powered by Blogger Pro™

links open windows

(c)2002 Design by Blogscapes.com

The Blog:
Sunday, September 14, 2003
Lost in Translation

In a movie where the grotesquely tall Bill Murray goes to Japan one would expect endless jokes re: his height compared to the notoriously shorter inhabitants of the country. Thankfully Lost in Translation, writer/director Sofia Coppola’s second film, abstains from the obvious and keeps the visual gags down to just one brief elevator shot and the fact that Murray walks around Japan in shoes so large and colorful they could easily been for a clown. Coppola keeps much the humor the same throughout the film; she effortlessly keeps a delicate, softly humorous tone throughout. Murray play Bob Harris, a middle-aged actor going through a decline both in his career and his life, having just traveled to Japan to shoot a whiskey commercial for $2 million, and perhaps to escape his family. Away from his wife and kids, jet-lagged and without sleep in Tokyo, no one seems to speak real English, nor understand how to communicate to him-the commercial director instructs Bob to be more intense, more intense, and the photographer directs him to imitate the Rat Pack and Roger Moore). Invariably, Bob ends up drifting to the hotel bar night after night. There he spies Charlotte (Scarlett Johannson), another lost soul, albeit much younger, alienated from her husband of two years and finding little inspiration from within-where she tries to connect to her soul via music and self-help intructions-or from Japan, where she visits the gamut of tourism, from ancient shrines to digital arcades.

Coppola’s film is very unassuming, and she scripts a story that plays out just as one expects it; with Murray and Johannson both tied down by marriages that are only hinted at as being troublesome, their past lives obviously tie them down too much to become physically romantically involved, and of course there is always the matter of their ages (Charlotte guesses that Bob is going through a midlife crisis). So instead of playing the situation off to an unlikely direction, Coppola sticks to keeping her film as tonally perfect as possible. Mixing her ethereal soundscape of Virgin Suicides with good-rock filtered through bad-karaoke and achieving a surprisingly warm visual look out of cool colors by cinematographer Lance Acord, Coppola places her two wayward souls in the most foreign of environments but keeps them nestled snuggly in a unique world of low-key humor, laconic romance and beautiful environments. Murray milks all he can from his naturally tired and droopy look, and like much of the film itself, he underplays his comedy to the point of minimalist gesture, which keeps the laughs from being too loud, and the jabs at the Japanese from being unreasonable. Scarlett Johannson is loved, with every due cause, by Coppola’s camera, which seems to give her a soft-focus flourish every time Johannson takes a step or looks out a window. Neither Zwigoff nor the Coens do for Johannson’s young beauty what Lost in Translation does (even the film’s opening shot is a loving tribute to the girl), and she rightly has shared billing with Murray. There is no mistaking why her maturity and talent as an actress has attracted the top independent talent, and no mistaking why her warm, delicate longing in Lost in Translation attracts Murray in the most natural of ways. She simply is too good to resist.

If the film abstains from achieving the kind of humble transcendence it goes for, it is probably due to Tokyo. No fault of the city itself, for it does an appropriate job of isolating the duo in a lonely purgatory away from normal human contact, as well as loved ones. The film obviously loves the city, if not the country, a great deal, but Coppola’s enjoyment feels only superficial. Japan could be a stand-in for any foreign country, and what it really needs is a personality that changes with the characters; what starts out as alien and untranslatable eventually becomes a special place where Murray and Johnnson’s friendship uniquely exists. A deeper understanding, appreciation, or study of the environment is needed to truly push Lost in Translation into a deeper place, though as is the film is a soft-spoken joy. If Japan and Tokyo do not stand out enough to place intelligent thought on the relationship between Bob and Charlotte, it is only in keeping with the film’s minimalism in its every movement. Sometimes, though, strict adherence stops one from achieving possible greatness.