memento_mori - wrote on 09/21/13
This movie is so beautifully empty. It's very reminiscent of real life and how we mask our contempts. Often people are happier alone than with their most loved ones. Who hasn't just wanted to get away from an awkward conversation and look out of a window?
I guess you could argue: this movie is about nothing. It's simply a couple of people happening to stay in the same hotel and experiencing the same obtrusive culture shock.
The acting by Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson is quite unprecedented. Murray still had the wit and charm of his other roles and Johansson gave a breakthrough performance.
Their relationship in the film is what we don't see anymore nowadays. Unstable, unmarked and on no particular path. It's great.
Japan is captured beautifully. No nonsense, no intended product placement, just sheer beauty. In ways I never thought about. It condescends so many features of the culture, showing it from the perspective of the modern age, karaoke and skyscrapers, and from the traditional standpoint of people, flowers, temples, atmospherical virtue.
I also love the score. It fills the silence when it needs to; I don't think the film would have the same effect without the gentle music.
It's pretty sad if you think about it, but it's so entertaining to watch at the same time.
These might be some of the most relatable characters in a movie, merely for looking at each other funny or acting like we around each other sometimes. Uncomfortable.
And that's what the film is. Comfort to the soul.