"Lost In Translation" Excerpt
Adam: After debuting at the Telluride Film Festival in the late summer of 2003 and then playing the Toronto film fest, Coppola's film opened on about 800 screens. It made over 40 million dollars domestically over the course of its run - 119 million overall with its international gross, by far Coppola's best-performing film at the box office - which I will say Josh, for reasons we may get into, I was surprised to hear how big of a hit this film was even with those Oscar nominations, it got four of them including Best Director and Picture and a Best Actor nod for Bill Murray, Coppola won the Oscar for best original screenplay.
Josh: In the 15 years since Lost in Translation, Coppola's gone on to make four more features: "Marie Antoinette," "Somewhere," "Bling Ring" and last year's "The Beguiled." Now, guest host Angelica Bastién and I spent a lot of time on all of those movies last year when we did our top five Sofia Coppola Scenes - that was tied to our review of "The Beguiled." And yeah we both had a moment from "Lost in Translation" on our lists. I won't share those now because they're probably going to come up in our review here as we get into it, Adam. What was interesting in our conversation in that top five list discussion is Angelica and I both had the same reaction to revisiting "Lost In Translation" for that list for the first time in a while. For her as well it had been a number of years and we found independently that on this viewing that relationship struck us as decidedly less platonic-
Josh: - than it did when we first saw "Lost in Translation" and we tried to figure out - there's an age difference between the two of us, so I'm older and I talked about how when I first saw it in 2003, I was probably closer to Scarlett Johansson's character's age-
Josh: - and now seeing it again-
Adam: Oh man.
Josh: - my daughter is closer to her age.
Adam: And we're a little closer to Bill Murray's age.
Josh: Exact-well, I was going to leave that out, but thanks.
Josh: Not extremely close, please, come on. We've got maybe a decade?
Adam: Yeah, at least.
Josh: Oh man, that really depressed me, Adam. Anyway. But it's curious because as I said, Angelica is quite a bit younger, so she’s looking at it through a different lens, but still had that impression. So that was one of the things I was eager to hear is just if you remember how that relationship struck you in 2003 and then if that changed at all for you on this recent viewing.
Adam: I don't have a strong recollection of seeing this film for the first time. I don't know why that is. My sense of it - I've only seen it once - it was probably not in the theater, but might have been. I think at that time - it was pre-Filmspotting and I wasn't seeing as many movies and I probably watched it on DVD one day and I remember kind of thinking "I'm not sure what all the fuss is about."
Adam: You know it was nice to see Bill Murray in a more challenging role. I was still kind of figuring out who Scarlett Johansson was obviously as an actress, but it didn't have the impact on me that it did for so many people. As I think back on it, I do feel like, Josh, I was in the same boat as you, which is that I felt like their relationship was more of a friendship that left this kinda open question of maybe in another time and place and if circumstances were a little bit different they might have connected romantically, but that really is something just hinted at at most. And watching this time, I was surprised at just how much it's more than hinted at. And I think where you really see it of course is when he has a little fling with the red-headed singer
Josh: Yeah, in the hotel lounge-
Adam: - in the hotel bar and [Johansson’s character] comes to the room and wants him to come explore with her, but she recognizes that there's another woman there and that's that moment - watching it again and really not remembering that scene or those interactions at all - I was thinking, Okay, this is going to be a real test. Does she react at all like a jealous lover might? Or is she happy for her friend that he made a new friend and they'll connect later? And you really do see some of that jealousy come through.
Adam: You see some of his own shame in that moment, as well, and then they go out to that lunch, which I love. When they connect later during the fire alarm and I think it's her that says "that was the worst lunch ever" and it really was, it felt like it, and it felt like the kind of lunch that would happen - the kind of moment that would happen - between two people who had feelings for each other that were a little bit stronger than just being friends.
Josh: Yeah, there's certainly jealousy at play there and I think that registered more strongly for me this time than the first time when I felt it as disappointment. You know, that she was, they'd had this talk about marriage and he'd seemed to be this guy who is trying to figure it out still, while admitting how tough it was. And the first time I read it as she was disappointed in his choice-
Adam: Hm-hm. Hm-hm.
Josh: For that reason here and-
Adam: - and some of that may still come through.
Josh: - this is wonderful thing - yes - this is the wonderful thing about "Lost in Translation" - which for the record remains my favorite Sofia Coppola film and I'm a huge fan of hers - is that it's still there. There's still that mixture of just you're not sure because the characters aren't sure and it's wonderful to be able to share that feeling alongside with them.