PCR past banners
Now in our fifth calendar year!
PCR # 202  (Vol. 5, No. 6)  This edition is for the week of February 2--8, 2004.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Lost In Translation"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Three stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

Two La Floridianas, Photographically Revisited
 by Will Moriaty
"Lost in Translation"
 by Mike Smith
VH1's Bands Re-United, Part 2: Frankie Goes To Hollywood
 by Andy Lalino
The Ranting, The Raving....Michael Jackson....White Wolf Games
 by Joshua Montgomery
Pirate Movies for Gasparilla
 by Terence Nuzum
Riding The Ferry-Go-Round....The Masters Of Horror
 b Matt Drinnenberg
You're Outta Here....How About That Superbowl?....Meet The Beatles, Part 4
 by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Archives 2004
Archives 2003
Archives 2002
Archives 2001
Archives 2000
Email PCR
Universal Pictures/Focus Films     
Starring: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi, and Anna Farris
Directed by: Sofia Coppola
Rated: R
Running Time: 1 hour 42 mins

Released this week on DVD, "Lost in Translation" is still in many theatres to take advantage of it's Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture.

"Lost in Translation" is the story of one time film star Bob Harris (Murray) who, like many of Hollywood's favorites, has been offered $2 million to appear in advertising for a Japanese whiskey. Totally out of place like the proverbial fish out of water, Harris is greeted by fans but has no idea what they are saying. While in the hotel bar, he meets Charlotte (Johansson), a young newlywed who traveled to Japan with her celebrity photographer husband (Ribisi), who is working instead of spending time with his new bride. While Charlotte is celebrating her new union, Bob has fallen into the comfortable rut of celebrity life, mostly seeing his family between film shoots and spending more time with his wife on the phone then face to face. With plenty of free time between them, they form a quick friendship and develop an honest, yet chaste, relationship.

In the 1960s, director John Huston cast his daughter, Angelica, in his film, "A Walk With Love and Death." The critics were so cruel that she didn't do another film for 12 years. Of course, Angelica went on to win an Oscar for her work in "Prizzi's Honor" and became one of our finest actresses. In the early 1990s, director Francis Ford Coppola cast his daughter, Sofia, in "The Godfather Part III." Like Huston before her, she was savaged by critics. Unlike Huston, she turned her skills behind the camera as a writer and director. Her first film, "The Virgin Suicides," was well received. For this, her second film, she became only the third woman, and first American woman, ever nominated for the directing Academy Award. The film is also nominated for Coppola's screenplay and for Best Actor (Murray). In spite of the glory, the film is really only middle of the road in story. It is the performances by it's main stars that elevate it to a higher level. Like Coppola, Murray took to the dramatic route in 1984s "The Razor's Edge." And, like Coppola, he was criticized. There is some kind of notion floating around that comedians can't act, that they are only good at being funny. For every Tom Hanks or Robin Williams that goes on to Oscar fame, there is a Jim Carrey, who has done outstanding dramatic work, who can't seem to please the powers that be. Much credit must also go to Johansson, who gives one of the finest performances of the year. If ever there was an Oscar snub this year, it was for her.

Is "Lost in Translation" the best picture of the year? No. But it's still an enjoyable night at the movies. On a scale of zero to four stars, I give "Lost in Translation"  Three stars

This week's movie review of "Lost In Translation" is ©2004 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2004, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.