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-   -   Lost in Translation: why do my friends hate it? (https://forum.dvdtalk.com/movie-talk/339683-lost-translation-why-do-my-friends-hate.html)

maxinquaye 01-08-04 03:02 AM

Most of you are missing the point. It is entirely possible that an intelligent person would not like this film. It is even possible for an intelligent film-going arthouse type person to not like this film (ie someone intelligent in film). This includes myself, to some extent, as (after seeing it twice) I like the film, but find it far overrated. I liked a lot about it, including the great performances, but ultimately found it too meandering, if not pointless. It put on an air that it was About Something, but it really wasn't more than rich-kid angst, a collection of pretty moments barely held together. Although the fantastic ending sure leaves a good taste in your mouth - if it was a better movie this could be one of those "myth-making" moments in cinema. I'd say it's a really good, but not quite great, movie.

But when people just dismiss a film, especially for reasons as inane as:
"It was boring!"
"It was weird, I didn't get it"
"It was pedophiliac."
"It had no plot and went nowhere".

...then that does say something. Those people are expressing their dislike in such a way as to suggest they are "unintelligent" (in film, at least) or whatnot. The only semi-valid reason is the last one; the others show very clearly that the person just didn't get it, or most likely, didn't care to get it.

I think that a person shouldn't be judged on what they like/don't like, but rather why they feel that way.

jarofclay73 01-08-04 03:26 AM

I liked "Lost In Translation" and is near the top of my favorite movies of 2003. But, I can see why certain people will not like it. There is relatively little dialogue. There is no traditional plot. There's a lot of emotion going on. It's not very romantic. But, somehow, I connect with it and I feel for those two people.

steebo777 01-09-04 08:11 AM


Originally posted by jarofclay73
I liked "Lost In Translation" and is near the top of my favorite movies of 2003. But, I can see why certain people will not like it. There is relatively little dialogue. There is no traditional plot. There's a lot of emotion going on. It's not very romantic. But, somehow, I connect with it and I feel for those two people.
My thoughts exactly. One of the tops fav's of the year for me.

Grizzly 01-09-04 11:02 PM


Originally posted by Corvin
You're right. It's not possible for intelligent people to dislike this film. :rolleyes:

Just because someone doesn't like a movie doesn't mean it's necessarily "working on a level" above their understanding.

i never said that.

but judging from those quotes he posted, that would be my guess.

maxinquaye said it perfectly.

CUBuffsMike41 01-10-04 05:24 PM


Originally posted by Josh Hinkle
To put it simply, different strokes for different folks. Movies are 100% subjective. One person's trash is anothers treasure and vice versa.
Sure, most of opinion comes down to subjectivity, but I think it's ridiculous to think that there can't be some aesthetic standard that measures the quality of film, or any art for that matter. And I admit the finer points of this type of standard would be up for much debate, but that's not my point. According to your logic, Fast & Furious could be considered on the same level as Annie Hall, just because some doofus rice-burner really likes cars and loved F&F. And we could also consider some little kid's recorder concert to be on the same level as a Chicago Symphony Orchestra's performance of Beethoven's 2nd. So without playing a semantics game, I think it's safe to say that Annie Hall and Beethoven's 2nd are both objectively better.

As far as the original post goes, I don't think LiT really flies all that well with a mainstream audience. People aren't used to movies that examine relationships, that make you think a little, that don't just play on shock value or slapstick comedy - the main characteristics of most Hollywood films. So yeah, LiT is a little artsy, a little different, and most people don't really have the interest, attention span, or need/want to appreciate this type of film. As Woody Allen said, most American cinema is just escapism. And LiT isn't. In my opinion, it's a work of art.

But I agree with a previous sentiment that LiT was still overrated. I thought it was really good, but not great. And I go for all the indie/arthouse/foreign type films - so as was previously said, it's not like every single intelligent movie goer is going to splooge all over LiT.

TCG 01-11-04 04:41 AM


Originally posted by CUBuffsMike41
Sure, most of opinion comes down to subjectivity, but I think it's ridiculous to think that there can't be some aesthetic standard that measures the quality of film, or any art for that matter. And I admit the finer points of this type of standard would be up for much debate, but that's not my point. According to your logic, Fast & Furious could be considered on the same level as Annie Hall, just because some doofus rice-burner really likes cars and loved F&F. And we could also consider some little kid's recorder concert to be on the same level as a Chicago Symphony Orchestra's performance of Beethoven's 2nd. So without playing a semantics game, I think it's safe to say that Annie Hall and Beethoven's 2nd are both objectively better.

But I agree with a previous sentiment that LiT was still overrated. I thought it was really good, but not great.

great points. everyone is certainly entitled to their opinion, but this does not mean that everyone's opinion should have the same weight. it's like saying that a 1st time film goer's opinion is as valid as Roger Ebert's opinion. they can certainly have their opinion, but it does not mean as much.

also agree that LiT is slightly overrated.

cornbetts 01-26-04 05:40 PM

Without a doubt I thought Lost in Translation was the worst movie ever made in the history of film! I consider myself a HUGE movie buff and indie movie fan. There was nothing redeeming about this film whatsoever and I could not wait to leave the theatre. I think the floating trash bag in American Beauty had a greater on screen presence than anything in this movie. All parties should be ashamed. The directing gene was not passed down from Francis Ford to Sofia. Horrible! Horrible! Horrible!!! The worst ever!!!!!!

Tommy_Harn 01-26-04 05:47 PM


Originally posted by cornbetts
Without a doubt I thought Lost in Translation was the worst movie ever made in the history of film! I consider myself a HUGE movie buff and indie movie fan. There was nothing redeeming about this film whatsoever and I could not wait to leave the theatre. I think the floating trash bag in American Beauty had a greater on screen presence than anything in this movie. All parties should be ashamed. The directing gene was not passed down from Francis Ford to Sofia. Horrible! Horrible! Horrible!!! The worst ever!!!!!!
Sounds like a LOTR-ROTK fanboy making a pre-emptive strike at his/her favorite film's main Oscar challenger.

theneobez 01-26-04 06:45 PM

Heh. Worst movie ever? Wow.
In my opinion it's one of the best movies ever. But that's me.

cornbetts 01-27-04 09:48 AM

Tommy_Harn -

I'm not necessarily a LOTR:ROTK fan boy. In fact I thought Big Fish was the best movie of last year, then probably Kill Bill Vol. 1. I just truly loathed every minute of Lost in Translation. I must have missed something because this movie is now nominated for several Oscars. However I stand by my claim that this is the worst movie I have ever seen in my entire life.

Jackskeleton 01-27-04 09:50 AM

Can you explain why it was so bad for you? Everyone has a right to hate or like something. I personally Loved Lost in translation, but I've hated things like Punch Drunk love. Now, why did you hate it? that's the real question?

Tommy_Harn 01-27-04 11:28 AM


Originally posted by cornbetts
Tommy_Harn -

I'm not necessarily a LOTR:ROTK fan boy. In fact I thought Big Fish was the best movie of last year, then probably Kill Bill Vol. 1. I just truly loathed every minute of Lost in Translation. I must have missed something because this movie is now nominated for several Oscars. However I stand by my claim that this is the worst movie I have ever seen in my entire life.

Alright, I believe you. I just find it hard to believe that somebody could find LiT so bad. Obviously, not everybody is going to enjoy it, but "Worst movie"? Hard to fathom. I'd also be interested to hear specifics.

cornbetts 01-27-04 12:36 PM

I would say specific reasons why I did not like LIT are exactly what has been discussed on this forum. I thought it was painfully slow. I did not care about any of the characters. To me the story went absolutely nowhere. I just didn't get it. Perhaps I went in expecting some brilliant masterpiece and was sadly disappointed. I have never once wanted to walk out of a theatre, but this film made me come close. I was not impressed. I don't think I've ever seen anything so bad in my life. Maybe From Justin to Kelly is one of the worst movies of 2003, but at least there was a basic storyline to follow and despite the cheesiness I can't say that I was painfully bored. It has nothing to do with Bill Murray or anything like that. I loved Rushmore and Royal Tannenbaums. I just hated LIT.

MrN 01-27-04 01:01 PM

If you think From Justin to Kelley was better than Lost in Translation, then the problem truly lies with you. You yourself said "I don't get it" - my guess is you're not used to 'art-films' in general.

baracine 01-27-04 01:40 PM

Reprinted from another DVD Talk discussion thread (on the LIT artwork, of all things) that deleted cornbetts' contribution:

Check out this opinion piece by respected, thought-provoking Quebec journalist Lysiane Gagnon in today's (yesterday's) Toronto Globe and Mail:

http://www.globeandmail.ca/servlet/s...Translation%22

Iron Chef 01-27-04 02:07 PM

This "respected, thought-provoking Quebec journalist" missed the entire ending of the movie.

from the article:


Seeing them act had been painful, but hearing their pillow talk was going to be unbearable, so at this point, I darted out of the theatre, happy I missed the end.
What good is her review then? Honestly?

I respect her opinion, but she should have at least watched the entire film before she wrote a review about it.

baracine 01-27-04 02:28 PM

I didn't see LIT but if I was in a theatre watching two selfish, unfathomable strangers acting like they are brain-dead and making fun of the strange country they're in, its inhabitants and their language, who can't face who they are and are groping in the dark for some form of communication with another human being, I would leave before the end too. I have already seen Ingmar Bergman's Silence, thank you very much.

But what the hell, the director is the daughter of a famous American director. She has already been nominated by the Academy for sentimental, touchy-feely reasons and will probably win her category because Hollywood likes fairy-tale happy endings, even if her film doesn't provide one.

The Coppola family started out making films debasing their fellow Italian-Americans and glorifying the Mafia lifestyle. Now they are the Italian Mafia.

slop101 01-27-04 04:55 PM

I don't understand the overwhelming praise for LIT either.

And before you dismiss me as some uncultured lowest common denominator Brukheimer fan with zero understanding of cinema (which, btw, has nothing to do with intelligence), I'll have you know that my favorite film-maker of all time is Luis Bunuel and one of my favorite current film-makers is Wong Kar-Wai, with his In The Mood For Love and Fallen Angels being a couple of my favorite films of the last 10 years.

Anyways, I found both characters neither likable nor interesting - a character-based film needs at least one of these aspects (if not both) in order for the main characters to be compelling. Not to mention, every other character (Murray's wife & Johansen's husband) was so thinly drawn, they may as well have been cardboard cut-outs.

The actual writing (script/dialogue) was also boring, insipid and in no way deserving of any sort of award, much less and Oscar. If you want to present compelling dialogue between two characters, you should write GOOD DIALOGUE - not allude to them having a good time by showing reaction shots. That's just bad writing.

Ultimately, I'm the sort that prefers deviations from standard film narratives. If a film doesn't rely on a story, it needs to rely on characters and behavior that is interesting. Lost in Translation had neither.

Patman 01-27-04 05:17 PM

The film relies of discovery and re-discovery of certain aspects of life that had eluded each one of them up until they form their unlikely platonic friendship from 2 different points of view, and it does this well. This film is more about tone and mood than it is about plot and achievement.

cornbetts 01-27-04 06:22 PM

I'm not saying I thought From Justin to Kelly was a materpiece (far from it). Simply put, FJTK was pretty bad but remotely watchable (if nothing else unintentionally funny ala Showgirls). To me LIT didn't have anything going for it. It was like watching 2 of the most boring people alive on the big screen. I think even Jar Jar had more life than any actor in this movie (and he's CGI).

I think Slop101 summed up my feelings exactly! Good job Slop.

And for the record, I do enjoy art house films. I thought there were plenty of good ones this year (American Splendor and Whale Rider).

sundog 01-27-04 06:45 PM

I enjoyed Lost in Translation, but feel it is overrated. What pleased me was the tone, the cinematography, the pacing, the music. The acting matched the languidness of the film well. I didn't particularly care what happened to the characters, but there is so much else in the film to enjoy, just the sheen captured radiating off of Tokyo at night made it a worthwhile film.

For a film about people lost in other countries and cultures I'd recommend either Tsai Ming-Liang's What Time is it There? and Alex Cox's Three Businessmen over Sofia Coppola's work here.

kcbrett5 01-28-04 04:19 PM


Originally posted by baracine
I didn't see LIT but if I was in a theatre watching two selfish, unfathomable strangers acting like they are brain-dead and making fun of the strange country they're in, its inhabitants and their language, who can't face who they are and are groping in the dark for some form of communication with another human being, I would leave before the end too. I have already seen Ingmar Bergman's Silence, thank you very much.

But what the hell, the director is the daughter of a famous American director. She has already been nominated by the Academy for sentimental, touchy-feely reasons and will probably win her category because Hollywood likes fairy-tale happy endings, even if her film doesn't provide one.

The Coppola family started out making films debasing their fellow Italian-Americans and glorifying the Mafia lifestyle. Now they are the Italian Mafia.

This is complete ignorance. I love when people start off their review of a movie by saying "I didnt see this movie but..."

If you are sitting at home and your review starts off in this way. Just hit delete until it is gone and move on to the next big thing in your life. Dont waste your time.

baracine 01-29-04 07:45 AM


Originally posted by kcbrett5
This is complete ignorance.
I'm just saying: Conventional wisdom is wondering how many decapitated horses' heads were delivered to reticent producers' bedrooms in the middle of the night before this movie about "slanty-eyed gooks and their weird culture" got made.

You also have to remember that before Coppola Sr. was turning on all of America to the delights of sadistic criminal behaviour, he started out his career by desacrating a Russian classic film (Sadko, 1953) and turning it into a piece of trash called The Magic Voyage of Sinbad (1961) for personal gain. He's got a lot of bad karma to live down. The sins of the father shall be visited on the BAD ACTRESS daughter...

kefrank 01-29-04 12:10 PM


Originally posted by baracine
Conventional wisdom is wondering how many decapitated horses' heads were delivered to reticent producers' bedrooms in the middle of the night before this movie about "slanty-eyed gooks and their weird culture" got made.

conventional wisdom is wondering how someone can assess what a movie is really about without having seen it.

baracine 01-29-04 12:40 PM


Originally posted by kefrank
conventional wisdom is wondering how someone can assess what a movie is really about without having seen it.
If you consider the price of a ticket a voting slip, you can understand why I don't want to cast my vote for that kind of film.


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