Lost in translation at 20: “Without Bill Murray I wouldn’t make the film”

Lost in translation at 20: “Without Bill Murray I wouldn’t make the film”

To celebrate the anniversary of Sofia Coppola’s film, First dig into her archives.

“I wrote Lost in Translation for Bill. I wanted him, and no one else. Like everyone else, I was marked by an endless day (Harold Ramis, 93). In Rushmore (Wes Anderson, 99), he broke my heart. In life, he is someone elusive because he puts his private life and his five children before everything else. He reads very few scripts and doesn’t give his phone number to anyone. As his agent had no longer heard from him, I went to see the people who frequent him. The screenwriter Mitch Glazer, one of his best friends, helped me get in touch with him. Wes Anderson was also lobbying for me. I had not planned any alternatives. If Bill refused, I wouldn’t make the film.”

In January 2004, Sofia Coppola trusted in First that without Bill Murrayit would not have turned Lost in Translation. While we wait for his new film, Priscilla (whose French release has just been set for April 17, 2024), this flagship work of his film is celebrating its 20th anniversary today. In the United States, this story of two tourists sympathizing in a Tokyo hotel, in the middle of jet lag and both overflowing with spleen, won over the public on September 12, 2003.

A few months later, Stéphanie Lamome wrote, impressed by this second film by the director, after Virgin Suicides : “In this film, Sofia Coppola showed us her already dead virgins through the ice cream-colored prism of memory. In Lost in Translation, everything is perceived through that, foggy, of drowsiness. In both cases, the same distortion of reality, the same feeling of a waking dream with its collages of cotton prints. This time, Sofia chose a composite soundtrack (mainly electro and Japanese pop) to reinforce the idea of ​​fragmentation.”

Praising Scarlett Johansson’s performance, “a sort of big sister to the suicided virgins who would have survived”she then wrote: “If Sofia Coppola has proven that she knows like no one else what goes on in the minds of young girls struggling to live, we had less of an idea that she could also be 50 years old and have a beard. (…) The wacky fiber that Virgin Suicides had only given us a surreptitious glimpse, explodes in Lost in Translation. The subtle Sofia surprises by exploiting comedic devices as stupid and effective as the bad English of the Japanese, or the six feet tall of Bill Murray, an extra-terrestrial in this world of little men in suits and ties.”

The soundtrack of Lost in translation commented by Sofia Coppola

She finally praised the performance of Murray, cut out for the role: “To put together all the pieces of what could only have been a pretty aesthetic puzzle, you didn’t need an excellent actor, you needed Bill Murray. Bill Murray’s bewildered marble and his incredible pantomime of the saddest clown in the world (…) This Bob that he mimes more than he plays, like a sleepwalker on autopilot, one would say his character froman endless day who would have given up on getting out of the infernal loop of his eternally restarted day… That’s what we call the role of a lifetime.”

Lost in Translation is to be (re)watched on VOD, particularly on First Max.

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