Wednesday, March 22, 2023


 by Adam Riske

Nominated for “Best Breakthrough Female Performance” (Scarlett Johansson) at the MTV Movie Awards. She lost to Lindsay Lohan in Freaky Friday.

• Best Scene/Moment: I love the whole sequence where Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson go around Tokyo with her friends but that seems like a cheat since it’s not just one scene. Instead, I’ll go with the scene in a hospital waiting room where two women sitting behind Murray are laughing at him trying to have a conversation with an older Japanese man because Murray doesn’t know how to speak Japanese but is still pretending he sort of understands.

• Best Song (tie): Lost in Translation has an incredible soundtrack, so this was hard to choose. I’ll go with my two favorite songs I discovered because of the movie - “Kaze Wo Atsumete” by Happy End and “Fantino” by Sebastian Tellier.
• Best Merch: A Japanese Movie Theater Program of the film for $89.00. Does anyone here speak Japanese that can read it to me? I’ll buy lunch.

• Director Check: Lost in Translation was written, produced, and directed by one of my favorite filmmakers, Sofia Coppola. She made her feature directorial debut with 1999’s hypnotic The Virgin Suicides, which established a working relationship with Kirsten Dunst, who would go on to become of one Coppola’s most frequent collaborators. Lost in Translation was Coppola’s follow-up and breakout movie earning multiple Academy Award nominations (including a win for Best Original Screenplay) as well being a hit both critically and financially. Next, Coppola made Marie Antoinette with Sony, which is a good movie but seen as a disappointment in relation to Lost in Translation and then moved back into indie features directing 2010’s Somewhere (underrated), 2013’s The Bling Ring and 2017’s remake of The Beguiled (also underrated). Coppola’s most recent film was 2020’s On the Rocks, which was released through A24 but seen by most via Apple TV+ because of the pandemic. Next up for Sofia Coppola is a biopic called Priscilla about the life of Priscilla Presley and her relationship with Elvis. According to Wikipedia, the film is in post-production and does not yet have a release date.

• Double It with This 2003 Movie: Girl with a Pearl Earring

• Year 2003 Movies to Trailer Before It: Kill Bill Vol. 1, The Last Samurai, Under the Tuscan Sun

Draft Day or Lost in Translation? Lost in Translation
• Mall Movie? No, since it’s a prestige indie from Focus Features. Focus don’t play no malls.

• Only in 2003: A movie that resulted in Bill Murray receiving an Oscar nomination.

• Scene Stealer (tie): Anna Faris and Giovanni Ribisi. Both leave an impact despite their limited screen time.

• I Miss: Sofia Coppola’s “Blank Check” period. She’s worked with small budgets except for Marie Antoinette.

• I Don’t Miss: My early 20’s “What does it all mean?” phase.

• 2003 Crush: Scarlett Johansson.

• 2023 Crush: Sofia Coppola.
• What I Thought in 2003: Surprisingly, I was slightly disappointed by Lost in Translation on my first viewing in theaters because it didn’t hook me immediately in the same way The Virgin Suicides did. I began loving Lost in Translation from my second viewing onward.

• What I Think in 2023: Sofia Coppola has become one of my favorite directors and Lost in Translation is now I think arguably her best movie (I love this, The Virgin Suicides, and Somewhere about equally). Lost in Translation, if nothing else, is an amazing travelog movie, like a mini vacation to Tokyo. I love both the Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson performances (probably my favorites from both actors) and I really appreciate how funny, intimate and romantic the movie is in its own specific, unusual way. Most of all though, I just love mood piece movies like this. Lost in Translation is a vibe I can’t get enough of.


  1. Great piece, Adam. I basically always want to watch Lost in Translation but also your write up makes me want to watch it like right now. It's so good. It puts me in a happy, wistful headspace. I love it so much.

    I agree on top 3 Coppola; I also super love Marie Antoinette and that soundtrack is like WOAH.

  2. I would love to read a type of '2K Replay' piece on Virgin Suicides. Just to read about favorite song (there's so many good one) or favorite scene

    I have to rewatch LiT, i saw it once when it came out