I am becoming unimpressed with Netflix’s instant streaming collection, so next Natefilx might feature some DVD available titles. I was originally had a different film selected for this article, but I changed my mind after re-watching this film during the week. Today was have a perfect example of a director and an actor both collaborating in the prime of their careers, yielding a very impressive and very successful film that is not only entertaining, but provides a comment on the need of true friendship.
Lost In Translation (2001)
If you haven’t seen any of the films of Sofia Coppola, this is the one to start with. Her long takes, 80s style soundtracks, and focus on dialogue all help to enhance the realism of this semi/pseudo-autobiographical tale of a lonely woman meeting a rather unusual man during her stay in Japan. Coppola’s films have a continuous theme of characters who have fallen into a certain depression, but cannot find the ways to express it, and Lost In Translation is her most effective example.
Coppola allowed Bill Murray to improvise a majority of his lines, and the genius of his ability is in full form. Not only does Murray lend his comedy talents, but his improvisational acting exudes an unexpected charm and level of emotion that we haven’t seen before, and possibly not after.
Lost In Translation shows us a true friendship, one where each person isn’t looking for love, sex, or wild adventure. Each character is looking for a companion, someone who can understand and share in their loneliness, and by doing so, pull each other out of it. The film takes place in Japan where two Americans happen to find each other by meeting at the right place at the right time, but the true lesson behind the story is that people can have these feelings of isolation anywhere, even right at home. It just takes someone to share else to share those feelings with, to help overcome them.
Some other films by Sofia Coppola that are available on Netflix Instant are The Virgin Suicides, and Somewhere. I highly recommend all three available films, but be sure to save Somewhere for last, it might be Coppola’s most challenging film to watch due to its astonishing slow pace and low emphasis on plot.
That’s all for today! You might have to find a DVD for next week’s Nateflix, because Netflix Instant doesn’t have much selection anymore. Or I might just pick a classic film, or a foreign film, or both…