Lost in Translation
Rating = B+
The no-longer-young man and the
young woman are both unhappy with their own lives and alone in a foreign city
and culture. They both are watching life go by (and a little amused by what
they see) rather pushing for whatever they want next as everyone around them
seems to be doing. They spot each other, make a connection, actually talk with
each other a little bit about their respective situations and enjoy each
other's company (which is not happening with their own spouses — he gives her
some attention she needs), and feel a romantic attraction.
[Skip the rest of this paragraph if you don't want to know the ending;
although, the story is not the main point of this film — the characters and
their interactions are.] However, he feels a little protective of her in a
fatherly way, and somehow her time with him helps her with her
self-examination. They avoid a coupling (short term or long term) that would
not be a useful step forward for either of them. Instead they part knowing they
tasted something special again during their few days together and more ready to
sort out the problems in their lives.
Scenes of Tokyo pervade the film and made me want to go there again
immediately. I was not put off by the way the movie poked fun at the Japanese;
it is hard to do otherwise in a film about being at sea in a different culture,
and I suspect some of Japanese movies make just as much fun of our cultural
The film is so nicely done, I wanted to rate it an A-. But, somehow it wasn't
quite substantive enough.