So what was the big fuss? I mean, really?
Yeah, Lost in Translation is a nice little movie. But jeez, what a 'damning with faint praise' comment that is - 'nice'. I've thought about it though, and while it's not exactly stretching my vocabulary to say that, it is at least honest. Something I'm not sure every critic was with themselves when they sat down to review this flick.
Who knows, perhaps it was Scarlett Johansson's distinctly Lolita-like qualities that got them. More likely it was a big wish fulfillment exercise for those critics who've served time in foreign hotel rooms, staring at four walls, surfing through indecipherable TV stations before adjourning to the hotel bar to order hard liquor, then charging the bar tab to their hosts. And don't forget the in-room porn, too.
"If only," they may have muttered to themselves before slipping into a booze-induced coma fantasy, "there was a sexy... young... cute... bored... photographer's wife here in the hotel. That I could meet by accident... she'd be enamoured by my wit, my devil-may-care-attitude, my receding hairline and most of all - my saggy face... mmuwwrph."
Not exactly outside of the realms of possibility, is it? That the Eberts and Denbys and Knowles' of this world took a look at rumpled Bill Murray up there on the screen and said "If only".
They do say write what you know, and I guess it applies to the film as well as the criticism of it - I doubt Sofia Coppola or Bill Murray had to think too hard to imagine themselves stuck in a foreign hotel room somewhere, their every whim paid for, only leaving the womb to experience the natives or attend press conferences. At times like those, you start to wish that someone - anyone - interesting would walk into your life.
It's a common fantasy. I know, I've been there myself - in fact I've been in a hotel in Tokyo myself, and admittedly, that's one thing Sofia Coppola got spot on. Tokyo, that is (and it's hotels) which couldn't have been that hard considering she went to Tokyo to film it. No cheap Warner Bros. backlot for this young lady - she took her camera crew all the way to the other side of the world to film the foreign people.