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August 15, 2010


Bob Harris (Bill Murray) and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) are two Americans in Tokyo. Bob is a movie star in town to shoot a whiskey commercial, while Charlotte is a young recent graduate woman tagging along her workaholic photographer husband.

Unable to sleep, Bob and Charlotte cross paths one night in the luxury hotel bar. This meeting becomes a surprising friendship. Charlotte and Bob venture through Tokyo, having often hilarious counters with its citizens, and ultimately discover a new belief in life's possibilities.

I like this Sofia Coppola movie, probably better than others. Being 'lost' and feel stranded in a big city, getting culture shock, and isolated is not easy to deal with. The pictures are all made very clear, like when Charlotte sitting alone watching the city in a very big window hotel, Bob's awkward communication between the director and translator, annoying fans in the bar when Bob's not in the mood for talk, Charlotte's talk with her friend on the phone, watching Japanese people playing video games with that certain arrogancy in their face. All is pictured clearly for us to understand how lonely they are.

Bill Murray can portray middle-aged man who had over his golden days, and stuck making commercial in Japan, for huge amount of money. At the same time longing his wife to be needing him, instead of always thinking about the kids. I read that Sofia Coppola wouldn't make the movie if Bill Murray won't play in it. He did make a beautiful portrait of a 'lost' man.

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I like Scarlett Johansson in this movie, because she looked natural, didn't care a lot about looks, probably didn't realize she'll become this huge bombshell over the years. She did felt 'lost', not sure where she's belong. They both lost in their problems, which is what the name of the movie stands for, other than difficulty of language.

Who wouldn't like to go someplace different, like Japan? Having the experience where I was so caught up in dreams, going to new places sounded perfect. But surviving there is another thing. I've had friends studied and worked in different countries and I'm sure they got homesick. That's the thing about going new places (that we probably not that excited to go). That's why we can't go too long to travel, unless we have friends and family that make us feel like home.

Movie Facts
  • Sofia Coppola wrote the lead role specifically for Bill Murray, and later said that if Murray turned it down, she wouldn't have done the movie. 
  • Filmed in 27 days.  
  • Francis Ford Coppola, Sofia Coppola's father, urged her to shoot the movie in High Definition Video because "it's the future", but she chose film because "film feels more romantic". 
  • Sofia Coppola wrote a lot of the film based on her life. The character of John (Giovanni Ribisi) was loosely based on her husband Spike Jonze. Rumor has it that the Anna Faris' character, Kelly, was supposedly Cameron Diaz, with whom Spike Jonze worked with on Being John Malkovich (1999), though Coppola denied the connection in an Entertainment Weekly interview. 
  • The inspiration for having Bob Harris do a Suntory whisky commercial was partially inspired by the fact that Sofia Coppola's father, Francis Ford Coppola, made a real Suntory commercial with Akira Kurosawa in the 1970s.  
  • The hotel where Charlotte and Bob are staying is the Park Hyatt Tokyo. 
  • Sofia Coppola wasn't sure if Bill Murray was actually going to show up for the film, going by only, according to Coppola, a verbal confirmation. It was on the first day of filming, that Murray showed up.
  • The entire budget for the film was $4 million. It grossed $44.5 million in North America alone and $119.7 million world wide. 
  • Scarlett Johansson said that she was reluctant to be filmed in panties until Sofia Coppola modeled the panties herself to show her how they would look.  
  • Bill Murray's favourite film of his own. 
  • Won Oscar for Best Writing, Original Screenplay - Sofia Coppola, Oscar nominee for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Bill Murray), Best Director (Sofia Coppola), and Best Picture.


The Kid In The Front Row said...

This movie is absolutely perfect.

You may have inspired me to watch it tonight.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Bill Murray in this. Groundhog Day is widely seen as his masterpiece, but there is something subtle and magic about him in this; something that goes beyond 'good acting' - it's magic.

ThreeLilly said...

Groundhog day? gotta see that one. Yes there's something real in him, in his character. Sofia Coppola got a great sense by picking him.

Glad you like the review :)

ThreeLilly said...
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