Last week, while browsing in secondhand bookshops for fodder for my book addiction, I found a copy of Lost in Translation and snapped it up. I’ve always loved that movie. I’m fascinated by Japan and Japanese culture, and a movie about Westerners’ reactions to Japan, and the dislocation caused by two very different cultures, interests me.
I have a hard time watching Scarlett Johansson, though – especially in earlier movies, she looks almost exactly like my daughter Morgaine. Scarlett is glossier now, and quite beautiful. But in her early films, such as The Horse Whisperer, they are almost identical. The actress is broader across the cheekbones, and Morgaine has a longer face and stronger chin. But the eyes, the mouth, the nose are identical. Even the voice is almost the same. I can’t watch The Horse Whisperer without sobbing, even though I have seen it so many times – I can’t separate the two people, and it’s like watching traumatic events happening to my daughter.
Anyway, despite Scarlett making me cry because she looks so much like Morgie and I miss her so much, I loved Lost in Translation. It’s a subtle movie in a lot of ways, and could have gone very wrong if their relationship went any farther than it did…but it was handled perfectly, down to the final scene where he whispers in her ear and you are left to decide for yourself how the story ends. It’s a lovely film.
I so want to visit Japan. I want to have the time and the money to spend an extended period of time there, to fully experience everything from karaoke to decorer girls to to mountain temples. I want to have time to explore cities as well as the countryside. It won’t happen this year, by any means. But someday…someday I’m going.