“Lost In Translation!” Bill Murray’s “Cult Movie Monday” Heads To Tokyo With Scarlett Johansson!

“Let’s never come here again because it would never be as much fun.”

These words are spoken between Bill Murray and Scarlet Johansson – about the incredible city of Tokyo – from the movie “Lost In Translation” – this week’s “Cult Movie Monday” is a terrific 2003 film that captures the energy, enthusiasm and mystery of one of the most magical cities in the world!


Behold The Majesty Of “Lost In Translation”!

One of the best films of 2003, this film is a love letter to a city – and to the two lost souls who find themselves in it…

Here is the film’s trailer:

Bill Murray has said that “Lost In Translation” is the favorite film he’s made…here is the plot:

Bill Murray Suntory-time

Murray is Bob Harris, a big movie star who is in Tokyo to appear in a Suntory Whisky commercial, while also escaping an unhappy personal life back home.

Aug 29, 2003; Hollywood, CA, USA; SCARLETT JOHANSSON as Charlotte and BILL MURRAY as Bob Harris in the dramatic comedy Lost

While in Tokyo, he meets Charlotte, the young wife of a photographer. The film tells the story of the friendship that develops between them, with the city of Tokyo playing a major character as well.


The film was directed by Sofia Coppola, daughter of legendary Director Francis Ford Coppola – and she exhibits a confidence and subtlety in her direction that lets her characters shine…like this moment when they run through Tokyo’s legendary Golden Gai bar district…


Tokyo Is One Of The Movie’s Best Actors!

One of the film’s many joys is how Coppola captures the energy and excitement of Tokyo – using iconic locations and the amazing visuals of the city…so that the city plays a major role in the movie…and Golden Gai is indeed incredible…

More than 250 bars in a three block radius…here’s what it looks like up close – my Golden Gai tour:


Now, back to “Lost In Translation”!

best bill murray movie lost-in-translation

This is also one of Scarlett Johansson’s most nuanced performances, and she totally holds her own opposite Murray…


One of the movie’s most iconic images is also one of the first in the film – and it was a bit controversial at the time:

Scarlett Johansson nude

Scarlett Johansson said that she was reluctant to be filmed in practically transparent panties until Sofia Coppola modeled the panties herself to show her how they would look – and it’s now the most iconic image from the movie…


Scarlett’s husband is played by Giovanni Ribisi, a Professional Photographer who takes his wife along with him to Tokyo to film a Japanese band – and runs into a ditzy movie star he’d worked with. Rumors have abounded that the character Anna Farris plays in the film was based on Cameron Diaz. Sofia was around her while Diaz made “Being John Malkovich” with Sofia’s ex-husband Spike Jonz.

Cameron diaz lost in translation

Coppola has denied it, but the “space cadet” blonde actress in the film has the style and tone of Diaz without a doubt:

Kelly: Everybody is always, like, “Kelly, you are anorexic.” And, I’m like, “No, I’m not.” I eat all kinds… I eat so much junk food, you wouldn’t believe it. I’d have a heart attack…
John: I thought you were anorexic…
Kelly: Everybody does…
John: [gesturing with his hands] Yeah, because you look so…
Kelly: [enthusiastically] Thank you. I know!

Sofia Coppola Bill Murray

Another funny scene involves a woman sent to Murray’s hotel room to “entertain” him…but he was sent a dominatrix!

Premium Fantasy woman: Mr. Kazu sent me, premium fantasy. My stockings. Rip them.
[sounds like “lip them”]
Premium Fantasy woman: Rip my stockings. Yes, please, rip them!
Bob: What?
Premium Fantasy woman: Rip them. HEY! Rip my stocking!!!
Bob: Hey? Lip them? Lip them? What?

This movie gets better every time I watch it…and the ending is sublime…movies like this are so magical – and of course, Tokyo has never looked more alive…

tokyo tourism

The city of Tokyo is a main character in “Lost In Translation” – as Coppola sends her characters to some of Tokyo’s most iconic locations…

tokyo neon night lights

The neon of the city is amazing to behold – and of course, the nightlife is incredible as well. My wife and I got to stay at Tokyo’s Park Hyatt, featured so prominently in the movie:

We gazed out at Tokyo, and headed into the bar to see the action that was captured so well in the movie…here’s a look at this iconic Hotel up close:


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Thanks so much for reading!

And let me know what you think of “Lost In Translation!”

best bill murray movie lost-in-translation

Categories: Art, Comedy Movies, Cult Movies, Exotic Travel, Great Films, Hollywood, Movies, Pop Culture, Talent/Celebrities, Tokyo!, Travel Adventures, Uncategorized

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30 replies

  1. One of my all time favorite movies. Japan looks so incredible. Bill Murray was fantastic, probably my favorite film he has done.
    I throw in a vote for Portugal! I have only been there once, but I loved it and it is on the top of my list to return to. Not so expensive and not over run with hordes of tourists. Even if that is what we are there……thanks for this blog…always something interesting to check out!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t say I’d ever want to go to Japan. I know, I know. You love it I am aware. It just seems too crowded. Maybe if I could get out in the country and visit the gardens.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ll hav to check this one out, I’ve never seen it. Do you have any other movie recommendations?

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you click on my movies link i do a “Cult Movie Monday” every week…that said, “Lost In Translation” is terrific – what kind of films do you like? “The Player” is a GREAT movie about Hollywood, and I also highlighted Michael Keaton in “The Paper” and more recently “Cedar Rapids” with Ed Helms…


  4. I love this movie, my favourite Bill Murray movie! He is superb, funny without being funny. Tokyo was the perfect setting.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. One of the things I loved about this movie was the images of Johansson sitting in the window of her Tokyo hotel room. I did the same thing while in Beijing…just watching…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I liked that Murray held back in that film.
    Scarlett has never looked better, and the opening credits scene in her underwear is so sexy, because it isn’t ‘sexy’. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Very interesting article. One slight correction. Ribisi’s character is sent to photograph a Japanese band. Ana Farris is just someone he knows from the states

    Liked by 1 person

  8. One of my all-time favorite films

    Liked by 1 person


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