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Just got my copy of Lost in Translation...

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Just got my copy of Lost in Translation...

Old 02-05-04, 10:19 AM
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From last week's Answer Man:
Q. After reading your review of "Lost in Translation" and subsequent discussion about how we do not hear Bill Murray's final words to Scarlett Johansson, I was surprised to find that I could understand fairly easily what Murray whispered into her ear at the end. While I could not hear every word, it was obvious to me that he said something like "As soon as possible, call your husband and tell him you love him, OK?" The last six words I have no doubt about whatsoever.
Matthew Allen, Long Beach, Calif.

A. I saw the film again, and closed my eyes and concentrated every aural nerve during that scene, and still could not hear a word. Apparently I am not alone. In an interview with writer-director Sofia Coppola in the new issue of Sight & Sound, she's asked, "Dare I ask what Bob whispers to Charlotte at the end?" And she replies: "Someone asked Bill, and he said, 'It's between lovers.' I love that answer."

Then she was asked if she had written lines for the scene, and said: "I wrote some stuff but I wasn't happy with it. There was dialogue but it was really sparse. Ultimately I liked it better that you don't hear it, that you can put in what you want them to say. You wish he'd say, 'I had a great time and you're great,' but instead he says, 'I left my jacket.' That's what people do."
I'm in the camp that it doesn't matter what he said. No one griped about not hearing exactly what Tony Leung whispered into the tree at the end of "In the Mood for Love," so I don't see what the big deal is.

[banky bringing 2 index fingers together]It's called, "sharing a moment."[/banky]
Old 02-06-04, 09:29 AM
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we need a sound geek or someone who works for the fbi surveilliance to enhance the audio.

the possibilities for the whisper

1 I am going back to deal with my wife and we'll hook up in la

2 I had a great time your a great person and you'll be okay call your husband tell him you love him.

3 your great, you'll figure everything out, If you need anything ever i'll be there for

I think bob harris hooked up with the singer because he didn't want to ruin her marriage. she sent him a note that day for him to call her but it seemed he purposely did not meet her that day because he was afraid of what might happen between them. i think bob actually still loved his wife. while scarlett's character was in the same emotional place that bob was in. Too him sleeping with thelounge singer was not as intimate as their relationship and especially if they had sex.
but both of them seem much more happy at the end after the whispering which makes the question of what was said so interesting.
Old 02-06-04, 11:02 AM
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Originally posted by Flave
Well, that's exactly my definition of a cop-out.

This is what I think truly great movie moments are made of -- great lines. And that's especially true of an ending scene and doubly so in a relationship movie such as this. Sure, you can go for the ethereal touchy-feely moment (and I''l be the first to admit that this technique has its place in movies). Just don't do it at the end like this

I mean, why do you think we're even having this discussion? BECAUSE WE ALL WANT TO KNOW WHAT HE SAID! Case closed.

Sophia could not come up with anything meaningful and went with a 'feeling'. Fine, that's her right. Just as it is mine to call her on it.

That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.
It's not a cop-out. It's a cop-out for the some of the audience to EXPECT the director to succumb to their expectations of how the scene should be constructed.

The director made an artistic decision to allow (require) the audience some latitude in interpreting and projecting their experience with the narrative onto the scene. It's the mark of a mature and restrained director, and it is certainly a valid way to handle the scene.

As far as your assertion that "We all want to know what he said". Wrong - I don't. I much prefer being given the respect that I am capable to ascribe as much of a cogent and valid denouement as is the director. If you want everything handed to you on a platter, you might want to look to a film that is not handled by a director with the understanding and respect for her audience that Coppola exhibits.

Last edited by Big Quasimodo; 02-06-04 at 11:48 AM.
Old 02-06-04, 11:02 AM
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I was really moved by this movie. Only seen it twice so far but I see many viewings of it in my future. I know it's not for everyone though, most of my friends didn't like it. The first time I watched it (by myself) I cried at the end. The second time I watched it with my girlfriend she made fun of me for getting a little teary eyed at the end What does she know? She doesn't like anything without carchases and explosions
Old 02-06-04, 11:40 AM
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I think now I'm fully able to express why I like the ending so much.

I believe it's correct to say that the moment at the end is Bob's and Charlotte's and that it is also the audiences'. However, we should not hear what they say, we should only know that something is said, and have a feel for that. That is because, this moment reflects something so universal. So because everyone has an experience like this, it is different for everyone. So they have their moment on screen, and we have our moment in our seats, but we all (should) experience the same thing.

To hear what is said completely cheapens the experience, because it is no longer something everyone can feel, it becomes only Bob's and Charlotte's.
Old 02-06-04, 12:54 PM
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I agree with the above statement. I think it that if she wanted to follow the standard norm for this sort of thing she would have let them sleep with each other. but this was no ordinary situation. I'm happy about that.
Old 02-06-04, 03:10 PM
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I just saw this. I'm not sure what to make of it. I think I liked it, but I may have to watch it again in a year or so to know for sure.
Old 02-06-04, 05:41 PM
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ITA--It makes the film much more meaningful if it's kept between the two of them.
I SO wanted them to be together because the pure admiration between them made one feel that they deserved to be together, and I even yelled at the screen out of frustration. (Which I don't do often unless it's an action film during a fight scene! ).

Last edited by MGBGT; 02-06-04 at 05:43 PM.
Old 02-06-04, 05:56 PM
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First of all I love this movie

Second of all those of you who don't like it are taking a stupid angle when it comes to criticising the whisper and calling it a cop out.

If you want to intelligently criticize the problem with the whisper you should point out that the "discussion unheard by the audience" device is wearing thin. It was used in Wong Kar Wai's Happy Together and Mahkmalbahf's Kandahar. Sophia Copola ripped it off

But that doesn't change my opinion of the scene or the film, I love them both.
Old 02-06-04, 06:37 PM
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I just saw this today for the first time. I have been wanting to see it for months so my expectations were pretty high (I'm a cheap bastard and don't go to the theater much, but watch a ton of DVDs). I LOVED this movie. It's one of the few times where I wasn't slightly disappointed after seeing all the glowing reviews. I liked almost everything about it... from the interesting look at Japan, the music, the dialogue and meaning that hit me hard, the few funny moments and the whispered ending not meant for us to know... wow.
Old 02-06-04, 06:59 PM
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Finally saw this movie this week, wow what a lovely film. It's a very intimate, and a very real feeling potrayal of two people finding each other. Just reading the responses of what people wanted out of this movie...people wanted them to get togehter, people wanted them to make up with their spouses, just makes me love what this movie did. It's not cut and dried, happy sappy stuff. It's a real examination of two people and the happiness that another person can bring in those sadder points in life.

The whisper...it worked brilliantly. I know personally, I wanted Bob to be taking the higher road, telling Charlotte to go back to her husband and find the love there. Is that what he's saying? Who knows, but that's the interpretation I like. But relaly it is an intimate moment between friends, and it's not for us to really know. We can suppose all day long about where their relationship would have led, and what is going to happen afterwards. But that's not what this story is about...it is a celebration of friendship, and what that can do to two people in even a short amount of time. The whisper's relevance isn't what he said, but the fact that such a quiet, intimate moment can have such an positive effect on both of them.

A beautiful little film and quite moving.
Old 02-07-04, 12:19 AM
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Originally posted by Pants
It was used in Wong Kar Wai's Happy Together and Mahkmalbahf's Kandahar. Sophia Copola ripped it off

But that doesn't change my opinion of the scene or the film, I love them both.


When, my friend, was the last purely original idea? It's a little harsh (and presumptous) to assume that Coppola "ripped off" a specific director or scene. It also misses the fact that many directors pay homage to their influences in film in precisely the same manner.

Or maybe you just wanted to display your vast knowledge of international cinema?
Old 02-07-04, 12:39 AM
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Originally posted by Big Quasimodo


When, my friend, was the last purely original idea? It's a little harsh (and presumptous) to assume that Coppola "ripped off" a specific director or scene. It also misses the fact that many directors pay homage to their influences in film in precisely the same manner.

Or maybe you just wanted to display your vast knowledge of international cinema?
Oh she definately ripped it off. She also ripped off the idea of setting a movie in Japan from Godzilla, and the idea of having characters use dialogue from Citizen Kane. Oh, and she ripped off Caddyshack for the idea of using Bill Murray!!!

Coppola...what a hack!
Old 02-07-04, 01:15 AM
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some folks will just never forgive her for godfather III.
Old 02-07-04, 04:26 AM
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I think murray said,

Spoiler:
"he's a cinderella boy, out of nowhere..."


but it's better they left it out. we can imagine what we want. no one sentence would satisfy the situation, so i can imagine any or all of them i want.
Old 02-07-04, 12:32 PM
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Originally posted by rabbit77
No one griped about not hearing exactly what Tony Leung whispered into the tree at the end of "In the Mood for Love," so I don't see what the big deal is.
I was thinking of this as well. In fact, I saw so many similarities between "Lost In Translation" and "In the Mood for Love", not only this scene but also in the dynamics of the relationship between the two protagonists. You never really know what happened between Mrs. Chan and Mr. Chow. I'm glad Wong Kar-Wai decided to cut
Spoiler:
the scene where they are engaged in a sexual affair
because, like in LiT, the rest becomes speculation or conjecture. That resonates with me much more than if it had been spelled out for me and Bob had simply said to Charlotte, "I love you," or whatever.

Other similarities with "In the Mood For Love" I couldn't help but notice: the scenes in the taxicabs and elevator (and other in-between locales), the framing of the lovers (especially the end), the hotel bar as noodle shop (where the lovers constantly feel alone and pass each other by). Any others? As much as I love LiT, I still feel (for now at least) that Wong's film is the superior.

I wouldn't be surprised if Sofia was a big Wong Kar-Wai fan.
Old 02-08-04, 11:15 AM
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Big Quasimodo and jaeufraser:

I like the film.

The purpose of my post was to point out that the people who are critcising the film are useing some rather shallow criteria to criticize it and if they want to rip it they should look a little deeper and make some kind of intelligent observation about the films shortcomings.

But you just go on reading my post they way you want it to read instead of what it really says.
Old 02-08-04, 01:20 PM
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Originally posted by Flave
This is what I think truly great movie moments are made of -- great lines.
If this is what you think, then you're entitled to your opinion. For me, the really GREAT movie moments are the one with absolutely NO dialogue.

I mean, why do you think we're even having this discussion? BECAUSE WE ALL WANT TO KNOW WHAT HE SAID! Case closed.
I don't want to know what he said. Case closed.

Sophia could not come up with anything meaningful and went with a 'feeling'. Fine, that's her right. Just as it is mine to call her on it.
I don't think ANYONE could have come up with something meaningful. The moment--the whisper, the kiss and the embrace was all that we needed. If you've been following the movie, you KNOW what he's saying even if you don't hear it.

That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.
You SHOULD stick to your opinion and not budge for anyone. Just don't be angry with us if we happen to disagree.

Last edited by jarofclay73; 02-08-04 at 01:32 PM.
Old 02-08-04, 02:24 PM
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Originally posted by Pants
Big Quasimodo and jaeufraser:

I like the film.

The purpose of my post was to point out that the people who are critcising the film are useing some rather shallow criteria to criticize it and if they want to rip it they should look a little deeper and make some kind of intelligent observation about the films shortcomings.

But you just go on reading my post they way you want it to read instead of what it really says.
I quoted the part of your post with which I took issue, so there can be no confusing what you wrote. You wrote that Sophia Coppola "ripped off" Wong Kar Wai's Happy Together and Mahkmalbahf's Kandahar.

I said your were presumptous and harsh to make that assertion without really knowing her motivations.

IF you had left the potshot out of your post and merely made the points that you indicate were the purpose of your post, I would have agreed wholeheartedly.
Old 02-08-04, 03:50 PM
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So you would prefer my post read like this?:
First of all I love this movie

Second of all those of you who don't like it are taking a stupid angle when it comes to criticising the whisper and calling it a cop out.

But that doesn't change my opinion of the scene or the film, I love them both.
That cuts out the meat and MY EXAMPLE. Why would you want my statement to not give examples? I guess you would prefer a standard DVDTalk vague, unsupported opinion.

All I'm asking for is some more intelligent criticism. I don't neccessarily "feel" that way about the scene in question, I'm just using it as an example of what a critic of the film might want to use in order to criticize the scene (instead of the standard DVDTalk "I just feel that way" or "it's a cop out" with out giving any examples or reasoning.)

Let's face it. The critics of this scene are giving very little firm, tangible evidence of it being a cop out. I was simply suggesting that if a person wanted to criticize the film that was an angle they could take.
Old 02-09-04, 12:18 AM
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Just picked up the DVD...this was my first BLIND BUY in a long time. I liked the film. Maybe I was expecting too much as I wasnt blown away, but it was a great movie and made me a HUGE FAN of Scarlett Johansson. SHE IS BEAUTIFUL! I LOVE HER!

The last scene kinda bothered me too...as I had to rewatch it several times with the sound up. I didnt want to be the only one not to know. But I have to agree with some of you...I guess it is better not knowing..kinda like the Pulp Fiction briefcase...and I do love the point that Bob Harris sleeps with the lounge singer INSTEAD of Charlotte to save their relationship. Very good take on that. I like that...as I knew they were not going to "hook up." They were 2 people that kinda USED each other to find happiness in their own lives.

If anyone ever finds out what was said..please let me know. Until then..I am happy enjoying the movie for what it was.
Old 02-09-04, 02:35 AM
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This is my favorite movie of the last several years, I am so happy to have the dvd. I love the ending being so open ended so you can kind of project on to it and I don't really ever want to know what he told her, because I have the perfect thing worked out in my head.

That said, the first thing I did when I got my dvd was play the scene with closed caption on, just in case.

I guess maybe I wanted to know. Just a little.
Old 02-09-04, 07:56 AM
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As for the ending, I think Red said it best in Shawshank Redemption when talking about the Mozart music. He said he had no idea what those two Italian women were singing about. "I like to think it was something so beautiful that it cant be expressed in words."

And that's how I feel. It could be whatever you want it to be. I love when movies don't spoonfeed you every emotion. I never would want to know exactly what was said because it won't be as good as what I have imagined.
Old 02-09-04, 11:12 AM
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Great movie, great ending. Bill Murray was tremendous, and I'm glad the movie didn't take any of the standard plotlines (them hopping right into the sack, etc.). It was much more subtle than that, two people clearly dissatisfied with things but not so that they're willing to throw it all away.

One question: Other than the strip club scene, why was this rated R? I wouldn't have minded that toned down (didn't seem that essential to the plot), have it be PG-13 and be open to a broader audience...
Old 02-09-04, 11:19 AM
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Originally posted by uteotw
One question: Other than the strip club scene, why was this rated R? I wouldn't have minded that toned down (didn't seem that essential to the plot), have it be PG-13 and be open to a broader audience...
Who cares?

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