2003_8_billmurraylost.jpgLost in Translation, the upcoming film directed by Sofia Coppola, might be one of the loveliest movies you see this year - it certainly is for Gothamist. Also written by Coppola, Lost in Translation is the Tokyo story of the new friendship between two Americans; Bill Murray plays an American movie star shilling for Japanese products and Scarlett Johanssen is the lonely young wife who tagged along on her photographer husband's business trip. A valentine to frenetic modern Tokyo (cinematographer Lance Acord manages to make the city shimmer at some moments, dull at others, but always interesting), Lost also has a wonderful Bill Murray performance that is at times physically hilarious and at others very tender. Imagine Herman Blume less beleagured and more joyful, karaokeing to Elvis Costello. The film just unfolds before you, inviting you to get to know the characters better and then you are practically participating in their lives. There is also a fabulous soundtrack (Air, My Bloody Valentine).

Lost in Translation will open on September 19. See the trailer. Bill Murray was on Late Show with David Letterman last night, talking about filming Lost in Translation (shot in 5 weeks, for $3 million) in Japan as well as his new hair color.

Sofia Coppola's earlier directorial effort, The Virgin Suicides, is one of the most underrated films in recent memory. Similarly lyrical but focused within the stifling confines of 1970s suburbia, it's based on the novel by Jeffrey Eugenides and also has a soundtrack by Air.