I have this habit of discovering things a looooong time after everyone else. For instance, I discovered the movie Speed a good four years late. So there I was, telling everyone, ‘Did you see his ass when he got off the bus and he was clinging to the side of that luggage cart (or whatever it was) when they were driving around on the empty runways at the airport?” And everyone was like, “Yes, Julie, we saw his ass…four years ago.”
On the bright side, I did remind them of some gorgeous cinematography, so there’s that.
Anywho, a few nights ago, I ‘discovered’ a movie called Lost in Translation.
And in this movie, there is a love that, well, I loved. It is a love of two people who a) get each other implicitly and immediately, b) love each other implicitly and immediately, and c) just want to be around each other implicitly and immediately.
There is, of course, the underlying question throughout the movie about whether or not they will end up sleeping together…and I’ll tell you when I knew that it was not going to happen. It’s when Bob meets Charlotte out at a joint called ‘Orange’ that turns out to be a strip club. And the stripper he’s uncomfortably watching does a back bend on her little platform, and Bob can’t help himself from reaching out to catch her, an involuntary and urgent attempt to make sure she doesn’t fall. That’s the moment.
Then later that night, when Charlotte and Bob are lying on his bed together, sweetly and unable to sleep, there was no question in my mind that any sex would happen as a result.
Charlotte tells Bob, “I’m stuck.”
And he tells her,”You’ll figure that out. I’m not worried about you. Keep writing.” And then, with one hand on her foot, making direct contact for the first time, and as the scene fades, he says, “You’re not hopeless.”
The care and the safety are palpable.
Watch this movie again. But this time as a writer, as a creator, as a purveyor of stories and feelings. It is one of the quietest movies I’ve ever seen. (As I didn’t grow up in the era of silent films). Most of the action happens through body language, through the slightest and most profound movements of the eyes – and the muscles that surround them.
With words behind movements and nuance, without saying it out loud and without clothes scattered around the hotel floor, these actors – but first (and most importantly) their writer (Sofia Coppola) – found a way also to make this love palpable.
Plus, they gave me this song, which is now my favorite. Listen to the words. They’re also palpable.
Image credit: urban data