Sunday, November 09, 2008

Film Club Gets Lost

Frankenkeith arrived ahead of schedule for last night's film club meet and enjoyed the entertainment of watching Mrs The Millbrooker finish her tea before Shazzerooneypoos came bearing gifts of yummy provender to munch as we watched.

Before long we were in our accustomed spots for a showing of Sofia Coppola's 2004 romance/relationship film Lost In Translation. None of us had seen it before, but it's a well known and more-or-less mainstream film (and Oscar winner) with big name stars, so I expect a lot of people reading this twaddle will already have their own ideas about it. The opening credits are displayed over a very shapely rear end encased in see through orange knickers; a good start then. Frankenkeith and I were disposed to enjoy the film from then on.

The film is essentially a two hander with Bill Murray giving an excellent performance (yes, he can actually act) as jaded film star Bob Harris; staying in Tokyo to film some whisky commercials. He meets Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), a neglected young wife staying at the same hotel. Johansson is, of course, very easy on the eye; happily she's also a very talented actress which makes for a knockout combination.We're treated to an engaging relationship between the pair and plenty of what Dozybean calls U.S.T. (unresolved sexual tension). They are adrift in an alien culture and because they're away from home, away from family and friends, they find they can be open and frank about their feelings and personal situations.My immediate thought, which seemed to meet with general agreement amongst the film club regulars is that the film is Brief Encounter for the modern age; two people who, by convention, shouldn't really be together find a love that cannot be consummated but which leaves them richer and wiser.
Sofia Coppola directs with a delightfully light touch and has kept the cast on a tight rein, there are no histrionics (which Murray in particular can sometimes murder a role with). If I were to moan about anything at all, it'd be that the film could probably have lost ten or fifteen minutes in the editing room; there are a some over long establishing sequences which lay it on a bit thick about how very foreign Japan is.

Other than that, it's quite simply a very good film. Engaging entertainment with something to say about the human condition and a very welcome lack of schmaltz (thank heavens Spielberg didn't get his hands on the script). The storyline certainly isn't anything vastly original, but the story is well told, well acted and positively bathes in humour and pathos.

Yep - I liked this one.

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