Happy 44th birthday, Sofia Coppola! I do love when kismet works in our favor. On this special day, we are celebrating Coppola’s second feature film, the 2003 critical hit Lost in Translation. (And, since it’s also my birthday, all pictures will be of Scarlett Johansson.) The film was nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Director, which made Coppola the third woman to be nominated for Best Director. However, like her predecessor Jane Campion had a decade earlier, Coppola walked away with Best Original Screenplay at the 2004 ceremony. Not bad for a second film!
The setup sounds familiar. Bob (Bill Murray in the middle of a career renaissance) and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson on the cusp of superstardom) are two insomniac Americans in a hotel who meet accidentally over and over before they finally decide to meet on purpose. Bob is a movie star in Japan to shoot a whiskey commercial that he hates. Charlotte is the wife of a photographer whose job and ego keep him busy. Once the two wanderers meet, they fall into an intense friendship made all the more exciting and sad for the knowledge that it exists only as long as their stay in Japan does.