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Lost In Translation

“For relaxing times… make it Suntory times.” Back to 2003 for Sofia Coppola’s low-key rom-com-drama…

Today’s Lockdown Rewatch is Sofia Coppola’s sophomore masterpiece Lost in Translation. The Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson two hander was produced on a miniscule $4 million budget but went on to gross almost $120 million globally. But did you know…

1) The film wouldn’t have been made without Bill Murray. Coppola was dead-set on Murray playing Bob Harris and the funding was contingent on him signing on to the project, but getting him to agree wasn’t easy. “It’s almost like a challenge to get through all the obstacles when someone tells me I can’t do something,” said Coppola. “It makes me try even harder. For five months it was like a full-time job, contacting Bill Murray.” Famously, Murray doesn’t have a manager, and agent or until a few years ago, even a phone. Finally, a mutual friend, writer Mitch Glaze, showed Murray the treatment and put them in touch. Murray agreed to the role, but didn’t actually sign a contract until production started, so Coppola spent $1 million on pre-production for the film without having any guarantee that Murray would actually show up. He arrived in Tokyo one week before the shoot started. “Bill was such a good sport about it,” recounts Coppola. “He said, ‘I thought if you were going to put yourself on the line, I would too.’”

2) “Luckily I did it without a studio so we were able to just make it how I wanted,” Coppola says of the film’s mysterious and diaphanous ending. “That thing Bill whispers to Scarlett was never intended to be anything. I was going to figure out later what to say and add it in and then we never did. It was between them. Just acknowledging that week meant something to both of them and it affects them going back to their lives. People always ask me what’s said. I always like Bill’s answer: that it’s between lovers – so I’ll leave it at that.”