LOST IN TRANSLATION
***½/**** Image B- Sound A- Extras B
starring Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi, Anna Faris
written and directed by Sofia Coppola
ZERO STARS/**** Image A- Sound B+
starring Woody Allen, Jason Biggs, Christina Ricci, Danny DeVito
written and directed by Woody Allen
by Walter Chaw It feels a lot like life is an endless succession of heartsickness and anticipation of heartsickness. After a while, taking a line from Tender Mercies, it's hard to trust happiness anymore when happiness feels so ephemeral compared to the weight of grief. Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation is about the wear of time and the unbearable burden of experience--it's about how even what's new and fresh is darkened by the ghosts of regret and time. When Bill Murray's fading star Bob Harris arrives in Tokyo to lend his image to a top-shelf whiskey, he is suffused with so much of the sadness of living that the surprise of life has become something to be viewed with suspicion. Newness fades and that familiar malaise, weary and grey, inevitably takes its place, sometimes even before the exhilaration of newness can reinvigorate. Bob meets Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) in the hotel bar; she's in town with her photographer husband (Giovanni Ribisi), and together Bob and Charlotte paint the town blue.