A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Lost in Translation shows many aspects of night life in Tokyo, including drinking and smoking. Characters also go to a strip club (where women are topless and wearing barely there G-strings and giving lap dances), get chased out of a bar with a fake gun, smoke pot before performing karaoke, and one character has an affair (with nothing shown). There's a little bit of strong language that includes "s--t."
- Parents say
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What's the story?
LOST IN TRANSLATION centers on American movie star Bob (Bill Murray), who is in Tokyo to appear in whiskey ads, and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), an unemployed wife who is there with her photographer husband (Giovanni Ribisi). Everything in Japan makes Bob and Charlotte feel out of place. Neither can get to sleep, and their bleary disorientation contrasts with the sensory overload of Tokyo. But it's not just their brains that are out of focus; it is their hearts and souls as well. Both have a lot of trouble connecting to others, both are in transition. Bob and Charlotte connect in a way they don't understand. But they do understand that it is precious to them to feel that way -- or just to feel. And they treat that feeling with touching delicacy. She takes him to a karaoke club. He takes her to the emergency room when she hurts her toe. They don't exchange life stories, discover that they love the same poem, or have any of the usual movie indicators that they are soul-mates. They just understand each other a little and like each other a little more. And that is a very nice thing to observe.
Is it any good?
Sofia Coppola (The Virgin Suicides) has written and directed a fascinating film. Lost in Translation is less about a story than about the sights, the feelings, the moments, and the especially the connection between two Americans adrift in Tokyo.
The performances by Murray and Johansson are tender delights. Anna Faris (Scary Movie) is deliciously perfect as a starlet who has had too many people tell her how interesting she is. Coppola is a master of moments and details, and here they add up to a story that is beautifully bittersweet.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why Bob and Charlotte are drawn to each other. What do they have in common? What is most different about them? Is their connection believable?
What do you think Bob whispers to Charlotte at the end?
Why do you think this movie was so critically acclaimed?
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