shake that cola drag

The office-block persecution affinity.

Monday, February 02, 2004

We saw Lost in Translation this weekend. Japan looks like the coolest place in the world! I really want to go there! My conclusions about the film were... not mixed, exactly, because I thought it was really touching and funny and beautifully shot and wonderfully performed and generally really good and I'd like to watch it again several times... but I found a few pieces of it slightly problematic. Like, is Bill Murray's wife *really* that bad? Bad enough for him to be filled with such angst? Sure, she's a little over-zealous on the decorating and a little distracted on the phone, but how is she supposed to have deep conversations with him in his dead-of-night Japanese hotel at 7am with several kids running around her screaming for breakfast? The 'wife doesn't understand him' thing seemed awfully pat. And the autobiographical parts of the film were *very* obvious, in a somewhat embarrassing way. Did she need to be *quite* that mean to Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake and Spike Jonze? Wouldn't it have been a little more gracious to disguise them, just a bit? It made Charlotte less a character than a symbol of the director herself. Obviously Sofia has a fine eye for the shitty and mediocre, yes (the jazz band called 'Sausalito' was absolutely perfect), but the fake angst about Charlotte being 'so mean' in her writing was just disingenuous. Clearly she *enjoys* being mean. Probably the truest-to-character moment was Bill Murray, trying to hurt her, saying to Charlotte: 'couldn't you find someone else to lavish you with attention?' Ouch. That made me respect Coppola a little more - she was willing to say something hard about herself.

But, really, minor quibbles. I loved the way the film captured the connection you can make with someone - not merely because you're alone together in a foreign place, but because you see the same things and find them funny. It was perfect in that respect. And tender, and sweet.

PS: I want a karaoke machine that has 'God Save the Queen' and '(What's So Funny About) Peace Love and Understanding' on it!


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