TMN: Lost in Translation (2003)


This film is 12 years old. Back when it came out, I was still a teenager. My mom watched it one evening. I walked in and out of the living room, as I watched it during a phase in my life where I couldn’t process nor sit through a movie. (I guess I had other things on my mind). After the movie was over, I turned to her and said, “I don’t get it.” She told me I was too young and that someday, I would.

12 years and 7 thousand miles later—I get it.

Full review.


Wowww so I relate to this film 10000x more after living in Hong Kong, not because of the culture shock or language barrier, but because of the alienation and loneliness that comes with it. The first party scene where the two meet a bunch of random people at different places and end up at karaoke is such a common occurrence when you’re traveling and want to make friends. That was sweet to watch.


But what resonated with me more was the need to just be with another person. “Wasn’t there anyone else around to lavish you with attention?” While that line appeared sarcastic and mean-spirited, it was brutally honest and a situation I’ve found myself in time and time again. It feels different than simply wanting the company of a friend or casually hanging out; it goes deeper, a longing for someone to just be in the moment with me and appreciate my existence.


In this story, Bob and Charlotte find each other at the opposite end of the world, and while their moment was brief, they got what they needed out of that friendship. The point isn’t what will happen afterwards but what did happen. For me, that’s been the takeaway of living abroad and Hong Kong especially, being such a transient place. You meet so many people—and a few amazing ones—that are only in your life for a minute. You don’t know when or where you will see them again, and you can’t really preoccupy yourself with that. The point is that you were WITH them and it HAPPENED.

I see a lot of similarities from last week’s Coppola film. Both movies deal with loneliness and learning to live in the moment from the company you are with. I also noticed that in both, it was an older man with a younger woman/girl. And both men played actors. And both movies took place in hotels!!

While this one made me cry, I give it 3.5 stars. I preferred the nostalgic feeling from last week’s Somewhere, but Lost in Translation hit me right, square in the feels. (Who knows, I might change my star tomorrow).

 My outfit inspiration was a google image search of what ScarJo wore as Charlotte. It looks like the movie took place in the fall, so I did my best to find an interpretation suitable for the weather here. I gathered that the clothing was quite basic and plain, with a subtle, color palette. (It looks like Charlotte bought all her clothing from present-day Muji or Gap back in 2003.)

Dress: H&M
Socks: Uniqlo
Shoes: Etienne Aigner via Etsy
Pin: Like Like Zine!
Bag: Muji

I had green tea soba noodles for dinner. I was going to get fancy and add slices of egg omelette but I got mega lazy so I just sliced cucumbers from last week’s movie night.


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