2. Lost In Translation (2003)
Inspired by the filmmaker’s time in Japan while promoting The Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation is the film that, for audiences and critics alike, solidified Sofia Coppola as a premier young talent, while also cementing Bill Murray’s status as a dynamic dramatic actor and paving the way for Scarlett Johansson’s career ascension.
Once again tackling disassociation, displacement, and alienation, Coppola’s more refrained, searching sophomore feature is still filled with the lyrical, enveloping qualities discovered in her previous film. But through Murray’s quietly pained, gently yearning performance, as well as the director’s growing confidence to defy narrative conventions, Coppola demonstrated exceptional range, along with the poeticism that made Virgin Suicides so haunting.
While not faultless, notably with several critics questioning its depiction of race, Lost in Translation is an immensely poignant feature, filled with pathos and understated character depth, that proved that Coppola’s first filmmaking success was no fluke. With Lost in Translation, she kept finding and honing her style to great acclaim.