Just saw Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, and it is indeed every bit as good as the critics say it is.
Madeline and I were in an art store waiting to pick up something.
I said, pretty much out of nowhere: “So what did he whisper in her ear? Or maybe we weren’t supposed to hear?”
Madeline replied, “I don’t think we were supposed to hear.”
The woman at the counter suddenly turns around and asks, “Are you talking about Lost in Translation?” (Later on she added that that scene made the movie for her.)
It is indeed an excellent scene (they share something with each other that’s only theirs, and not even the audience’s), but I equally liked the various shots of Bill Murray and Scarlet Johansson driving — or more importantly, being driven around — while the neon lights of Tokyo flash “indecipherably” all around them. They were oddly reminiscent of the long freeway scene in Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris (there are about two or three similar scenes in Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s Goodbye South, Goodbye and, come to think of it, some film maybe by Jon Jost about a father teaching his son to hunt, the title of which I can’t remember right now) where it simply evokes the boredom of going nowhere. (Granted, Tarkovsky probably wanted the extended driving scene to symbolize some inarticulable spiritual journey, or silence in the face of the infinite, which isn’t exactly the same in Coppola’s movie, as we generally see shots of Murray’s craggy jet-lagged face instead…)