New Movie Reviews

February 17, 2004

New Movie Reviews
Lost in Translation

Lost In Translation
It isn?t hard to see why this film was nominated for four academy awards, including Best Picture. Written and directed by Sofia Coppela, Lost in Translation is a beautiful portrayal of loneliness in a big foreign city and a seemingly unlikely friendship.

Bill Murray (Groundhog Day) plays Bob, an American movie star who is in Tokyo filming a series of commercials for Santory whisky. He is overworked, lonely and can?t sleep, so spends his evenings in the hotel bar listening to a lounge singer and drinking. It is here that he meets Charlotte, played by young up-and-comer Scarlett Johansson (The Horse Whisperer). She is in town with photographer husband John, Giovanni Ribisi (probably most recognisable for his role as Pheobe?s brother on Friends), however he spends most of his time working. Bob and Charlotte form an unlikely bond, sharing the sights and sounds of Japan. Their friendship is an unusual one, but is beautiful in its simplicity and need for companionship.

Lost in Translation is shot in a dreamy, almost glazed fashion, perhaps because of the sleepiness of the two central characters. Despite it being primarily about Bob and Charlotte, snapshots of others? lives are weaved in, provided a textured and moving account of being a foreigner in Japan. A classy film that is well worth seeing!

In America

In America
What makes this film unusual is that it is told through the eyes of two young girls, Kristy and Ariel (sisters Sarah and Emma Bolger). The girls and their parents Johnny (Paddy Considine) and Sarah (Samantha Morton) migrate from Ireland to New York City after the death of the youngest family member, Frankie. The family searches for a new life and a chance to close old chapters and begin new ones. It isn?t long before they realise that a change in location doesn?t automatically mean their troubles are behind them.

Johnny struggles to find work as an actor, however is contantly rejected for not being able to show his emotion. Sarah tries to hold the family together, all the while being the sole breadwinner. And the two girls see their new home as being a magical place where anything can happen, however as time progresses they become increasingly disillusioned with American life. Their lives begin to change on Halloween, when they meet Mataeo (Djimon Hounsou), the mysterious ?screaming neighbour? who lives in an apartment below. While trick-or-treating, the girls dare to knock on his door and what culminates is an unlikely friendship and the real new beginning that the family craves for.

?In America? is a semi-autobiographical tale by Jim Sheridan and his daughters Naomi and Kirsten. Despite the juvenile point of view, it is a touching and captivating film. The children are adorable and both provide strikingly natural performances. Furthermore, the audience experiences both the lows and the highs of this simple family trying to stay together in a tough world. One word of warning ? don?t forget the tissues!


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