Top Ten Films #2: Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation

This week I’ll be revealing my top ten favourite films, posting one each day with a few paragraphs about what they mean to me. If anyone wishes to share their favourites I’d be happy to hear from you. Today is #2.

2) Lost in Translation (2003)

Lost in TranslationSofia Coppola’s Oscar-winning film appealed to me instantly. I’d grown up watching Bill Murray in the likes of Ghostbusters, Scrooged, What About Bob? and Groundhog Day, but he truly excels here as Bob Harris, an ageing actor who has come to Japan to film a whisky commercial.

The film’s premise is the friendship that develops between Bob and Charlotte, a lonely wife whose husband is in Japan photographing bands. Though separated by many years Bob and Charlotte soon become close, at first enjoying the wonderfully advanced world of Tokyo but as the film progresses their conversations become ever more serious.

Recently married, Charlotte is already facing uncertainty and fears about what the future will bring. She finds hope in Bob who has been married for more than two decades. At the same time Charlotte gives Bob perspective in his life where fame is largely lost and only commercials and plays provide his income now. Thankfully, Sofia Coppola avoided Bob and Charlotte’s friendship leading to an affair. Instead they are able to share a brief but meaningful friendship that will impact on both for the rest of their lives.

As with Withnail & I, Lost in Translation is more about the dialogue than actual events, but there’s a rich variety of sights from Tokyo to savour and a delightfully frustrating ending when Bob and Charlotte say their final goodbye. Bob whispers some parting words to Charlotte, inaudible to the audience but enough for our two protagonists to part with matching smiles. Charlotte’s impact on Bob cannot be better conveyed than in his reluctance to leave Japan after being so eager to see the back of the country when he first arrives.

Top Ten so far:

2) Lost in Translation (2003)

3) Akira (1987)

4) Donnie Darko (2001)

5) Withnail and I (1987)

6) Predator (1987)

7) Battle Royale (2000)

8) Once Upon a Time in the West (1969)

9) House of Flying Daggers (2004)

10) Spirited Away (2001)

Follow Dave

Dave Brown

I was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England and have always been a bookworm and enjoyed creative writing at school. In 1999 I created the Elencheran Chronicles and have been writing ever since. My first novel, Fezariu's Epiphany, was published in May 2011. When not writing I'm a lover of films, games, books and blogging. I live in Barnsley, with my wife, Donna, and our six cats - Kain, Razz, Buggles, Charlie, Bilbo and Frodo.
Follow Dave
Pin It

Leave a Comment