I think the last time I got such a warm, dream-like feeling from being so completely immersed inside the magical world of a film was after I had just seen Amélie for the first time. This evening, I felt the same way as I stepped out of the cinema and into the biting cold after watching Lost in Translation (yes, I know everyone has seen it by now, but I’m always late getting to these things).
I’m always a sucker for ‘city movies’ anyway — that sensation, which only films viewed on the big screen can really provide, of being an insignificant speck in a huge metropolis of busy, buzzing but ultimately lonely people lost in the midst of flashing neon and the phosphorous glow of streetlights. Predictably, of course, for me that canvas is usually provided by London films such as Michael Winterbottom’s slow-motion masterpiece Wonderland, but Tokyo works just as well in this particular example of the genre.
The best thing that I can say about Lost in Translation though — as with Amélie and, indeed, Wonderland before it — is that I clearly identified with the characters. Otherworldly, questioning, dreaming, searching for something, a little confused and overwhelmed by life. Sentimental claptrap, maybe — but then if you hadn’t realised by now that there’s a side of me that’s particularly prone to sentimental claptrap, then you obviously haven’t been reading closely enough.
Charlotte: I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be.
Bob: You’ll figure that out. The more you know who you are and what you want, the less you let things upset you.
Now do you see why this film struck such a chord with me?