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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)

Hiro11 01-07-04 10:20 AM

Lost in Translation: why do my friends hate it?
 
I thought that Lost in Translation was the best movie I saw last year. It has terrific acting and dialogue throughout, beautiful direction, editing and cinematography and the best soundtrack I've heard in years. I was completely engrosed in watching the movie, I didn't notice anything else in the theater....

I recommended it to all of my friends...and to my surprise, every single one, TO A PERSON, hated it. I'm not talking mild dislike, but full-on hatred.

Some typical comments:
"It was boring!"
"It was weird, I didn't get it"
"It was pedophiliac."
"It had no plot and went nowhere".

Usually, these comments are accompanied by my friends looking at me as if I'm crazy for loving the film.

Obviously, there are other people out there who liked the movie as much as I did: the reviews where universally positive and lots of people on the internet liked it. But, I have yet to meet anyone in the real world who liked it.

Has anyone else had a similar experience with this movie? I guess I like films like Rushmore and bands like Roxy Music: people either completely get what they're trying to do and love everything about them...or they completely despise every aspect of them. There's no middle ground. Maybe Lost in Translation fits into that catagory.

MrN 01-07-04 10:41 AM

Get new friends.

:D

Its probably likely that none of your friends liked Rushmore or art-house films in general, so its pointless to recommend such fare to them. 'Getting' a film has a lot to do with the person's background and knowledge - that might sound snobby but its true.

Jalizarin 01-07-04 11:24 AM


Originally posted by MrN
'Getting' a film has a lot to do with the person's background and knowledge - that might sound snobby but its true.
is is indeed snobby, and regarding some cases, it is also true, but it is not an absolute. ;) just as 'getting' a film (music/story/etc.) does not obligate one to like it. to state a blanket condescension toward the perception or intelligence of everyone who does not enjoy a certain film or genre goes beyond arrogance; it is rather silly and foolish.

MrN 01-07-04 11:35 AM


Originally posted by Jalizarin
to state a blanket condescension toward the perception or intelligence of everyone who does not enjoy a certain film or genre goes beyond arrogance; it is rather silly and foolish.
Not sure where I was being condescending - all I'm saying is, if someone is not used to art-films, don't recommend such fare to them.

Also, when I say a person's background, I mean their exposure to art/film. I should have probably used my thesaurus on that one. :D

The Antipodean 01-07-04 11:44 AM

Pedophiliac? Your friends should get a dictionary. Johansson's character was in her mid-twenties and Murray in his mid-fifties. It may be creepy but it ain't illegal, not as if they did anything anyway...

Corvin 01-07-04 11:46 AM

I'm sure there are avid movie-goers with experience to arthouse films that didn't like Lost in Translation. I haven't met or talked to one yet, but I'm sure that one exists. All Jalizarin was saying, I think, was that the standard isn't universal and to assume it is is ridiculous.

Anyway, just make a mental note not to recommend those types of films to your friends, Hiro11.

Patman 01-07-04 12:33 PM

Some people have the attention span of a gnat.

balancer 01-07-04 01:58 PM

So what movies did your friends like, anyway?

Josh H 01-07-04 02:14 PM

To put it simply, different strokes for different folks. Movies are 100% subjective. One person's trash is anothers treasure and vice versa.

FuzzyBallz 01-07-04 02:24 PM

And that's why we have people who prefer From Justine to Kelly over The Sound of Music, why people think Gigli should be nominated for Best Picture.

Josh H 01-07-04 02:25 PM

And there's nothing wrong with that IMO. No one's opinion on movies is any more valid than anyone elses.

movielib 01-07-04 03:44 PM

I like a lot of independent/arthouse films but I thought LiT was dull, meandering and did not make me care about the characters or engage me even a little. I didn't hate it, I just think it has been way overrated.

javanut 01-07-04 04:25 PM


why do my friends hate it?
cause they have no taste?

Grizzly 01-07-04 05:06 PM

let me guess, your friends are Joe and Jane Sixpack type of people? if so i wouldn't be surprised as it is a film that works on a level above them.

Frank TJ Mackey 01-07-04 05:39 PM

You can't change the taste of people that enjoy movies like
Armageddon and Fast & the Furious.

Just be glad it was made.

What a great film that was, and hopefully it will be nominated at Oscar time.

Cardiac161 01-07-04 06:12 PM

I loved Lost in Translation because of 2 things:

1) I absolutely love being in Japan
2) The film reminded me a bit of Wong kar-Wai's Chungking Express and Fallen Angels

I can totally relate to the confusion that foreigners get when they go to Tokyo because as big and cosmopolitan of a city it is, very few people speak English and much it's very easy to lose your way there. But I really liked the fact that the film's themes are closely patterned to the films I mentioned which are loneliness amidst a immensely-populated city and a brevy of what-could-have-beens.

Funny thing is that most of my friends did not get Lost In Translation because for them, it was overhyped too much and not a lot of Japanese culture was dwelled on.

HistoryProf 01-07-04 07:00 PM

because they are idiots.

get new friends.

silentbob007 01-07-04 07:19 PM

I probably would not have liked this movie had I not known what type of film it was going in (from internet, reviews, etc). There is something to be said about expecting a dialogue/character driven movie as opposed to accidently discovering one (when you might not be in the mood that minute/hour/day/week for patience or thought.

Corvin 01-07-04 07:29 PM


Originally posted by Grizzly
let me guess, your friends are Joe and Jane Sixpack type of people? if so i wouldn't be surprised as it is a film that works on a level above them.
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.

rkndkn 01-07-04 07:47 PM

People have different tastes in all things in life. I've long ago given up on trying to make people "see" a film my way. I do personally think that certain films "speak" to people based on their life experiences and particular themes and emotions which touch a particular chord with them.

Everybody asks me if I think THEY would like a particular film, and I usually make a judgment based on their track record of films I know they've liked. I don't even bother recommending "arthouse" films anymore.

(On a side note, I'm very disheartened because the 8-screen local arthouse which I visited weekly has also GIVEN UP. Apparently, this crowd did not buy enough food to stuff their faces and they didn't make enough money at the concession. They will be converting to a bargain, second-run theatre. ) :(

That being said. . .I loved "Lost in Translation" and it would make my Top 3 for 2003.

And another thought . . .perhaps your friends' expectations are thrown off by the presence of Bill Murray. They wanted something other than the more subdued, gently humorous tone of his performance.

RyoHazuki 01-07-04 07:54 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.
This is only resonable reply here. Why must everyone who doesnt agree with you be considered a stupid teenager who has ADD and watches Fast and the Furious? I didnt shit my pants over Once Upon a Time in America. I guess I should take Adderal.

theneobez 01-07-04 08:23 PM

I loved Lost in Translation, probably one of my all time favs by this point, but different strokes for different folks. Doesn't necessarily mean your friends have bad taste.

TomOpus 01-07-04 11:00 PM

Re: Lost in Translation: why do my friends hate it?
 

Originally posted by Hiro11
I recommended it to all of my friends...and to my surprise, every single one, TO A PERSON, hated it. I'm not talking mild dislike, but full-on hatred.
This is surprising to me also. One would think at least some might've thought it was (at least) okay.

Usually, when I recommend a movie, I'll gauge the recipient of my enthusiasm. Character-driven indie films are not for everyone, so if I like a film, I'll let the person know what they're getting into. I did this with Ghost World and got pretty good results.

I feel it's my duty to inform people of movies I think are worthy of viewing but I don't want to set them up for disappointment.

Jackskeleton 01-07-04 11:16 PM

cause they aren't friends.. burn them. burn them to the ground!

Different strokes for different folks. Your friends wont always like what you like and you shouldn't expect them to. I saw this when it first came out and loved it. I can understand why some people don't like it.. it's not for everyone.

ArchibaldTuttle 01-08-04 12:06 AM

I didn't like it either so sue me... just cause you think a movie is genious doesn't make me or anyone else stupid or wrong

anyway I consider this a great example imo of a movie that has tons of great scenes and great acting lots of clever ideas, but that doesn't make it a great movie, it didn't work for me as a complete story, and despite the fact that I would love being in bill's characters shoes at his age, the romance aspect of it made me cringe literally

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


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