Sofia Coppola’s romantic comedy is hilarious and moving, intelligent and dreamy, melancholy and stunningly beautiful. On the top floor of a five star hotel in Tokyo, an encounter between two insomniacal Americans (film star Bill Murray and newly wed philosopher Scarlett Johansson).
Bob Harris (Murray) and Charlotte (Johansson), two Americans in Tokyo. Bob is a film star who is going to shoot a commercial for a whisky brand, Charlotte is a young woman who stumbles along behind her workaholic husband, a fashionable photographer (Giovanni Ribisi). Both are plagued by insomnia and that’s how they meet in a bar in their five-star hotel. Their encounter leads to a surprising friendship and memorable excursions into the Japanese megalopolis so incomprehensible to them. Coppola reveals herself to be a master in evoking the at-best bittersweet and dreamy feelings of alienation that a city in a different time zone can evoke. Murray plays the role of his life; no one else could combine hilarious sketches with undercooled melancholy and pathos the way he does. As alter ego of the director, Johansson suggests in an unobtrusive way the personal doubts and choices of an intelligent, gifted person during a lull in life. Sofia Coppola: “I wanted to make something about my impressions of being in Tokyo, and something romantic, about marriage and becoming an adult and the things I was thinking about. We tried to be discrete, with a small camera and no lighting, using the people on the streets as extras. The movie is filled with the things I love about that city and being a foreigner there, and the miscommunications between people.” ––IFFR
1/3 of this film has to be silence, other than white noise. Much of the dialogue consists of characters saying nothing substantial, filling the air with words; other than the occasional, vulnerable… read review
Pure eye-candy in the form of a sometimes obnoxious but never the less captivating romance. Despite a certain air of smugness that I detect while watching this, I generally enjoy it. As one of the… read review
One might imagine the set of Sofia Coppola’s spare masterpiece as a solemn place…she and cinematographer Lance Acord speaking gently to each other…stars Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray flirting… read review