Sofia Coppola is basically Hollywood royalty. The daughter of directing legend Francis Ford Coppola, has proved to be an excellent filmmaker in her own right. Lost in Translation is a rather phenomenal film about two lonely people bonding in a hotel in Tokyo. There is also a theme of loneliness in this film and the exploration of the character who experiences it. I’ll get to that in a bit. Sofia’s films are definitely not for everybody but I think if you love film you can really appreciate what she sets to accomplish with her pictures. Her films are not always plot heavy but we are usually guaranteed a riveting look into the life of a pained character.
To put it simply, the film is about an actor named Johnny Marco and how lonely he is in a world where he seems to have it all. He seems to be a newly famed Hollywood actor who feels a deprived sense of emotion and pleasure even though he has money, cars, a nice house, attractive women etc. He has a bond with his 10 year old daughter (played by Elle Fanning) which grows as he spends more and more time with her. First off, Dorff and Elle are great. I’m a big fan of Elle Fanning and know that she is in the now and will become huge. Even 6 years ago you can see how she has a natural knack for the screen. The film is shown in a way where the viewer just kind of sits back and experiences whats going on, almost as if you are taking a cut and seeing a real life as it unfolds (see seen with Johnny and the mask makeup).
Coppola’s film has a story to tell, however its unconventional. The film isn’t always dialogue heavy and you will experience a repetitive nature to some of the activities the protagonist grows through. Themes of a well off person experiencing loneliness are present once again in her film. Johnny seems to experience real happiness the more he sees his daughter. He finally seems to have a real emotional breakdown when she goes off to camp and he makes a call to his ex wife. I think that even though many of us are not in the wealthy situation of the protagonist, we can identify with how isolated he feels with everything going on around him.The magic of Coppola’s films is their ability to just speak to you on an existential level.
The film is littered with gorgeous shots of hotels, people, location and such to mimic the glamorous life of Hollywood royalty. The soundtrack is chill and in the moment with what you see on screen. Seeing the pole dancers synchronizing to “My Hero” and Elle Fanning ice skate to Gwen Stefani’s “Cool” help put you in the atmosphere of the world of the film. You are Johnny as he watches things happen on a day to day basis. Long story short, Coppola brings forth yet another enjoyable effort. I’m very excited about her pairing with Elle Fanning again in 2017.