In the autumn of 2003, Japan was having a bit of a moment at the movies. That October, cinema audiences were treated to the spectacle of Uma Thurman clashing with the Crazy 88 yakuza gang in Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill: Vol. 1.” A few weeks later, Tom Cruise could be seen getting in touch with his warrior spirit in Edward Zwick’s period epic, “The Last Samurai.”
But first out of the blocks was “Lost in Translation,” the sophomore feature by Sofia Coppola — a celebrity kid already well on her way to becoming a celebrated filmmaker in her own right.
Released in U.S. theaters on Sept. 12, this tale of a brief encounter between two lonely souls at a luxury hotel in Tokyo was a resounding critical and commercial success. Produced on a modest $4 million budget, it went on to pick up four Academy Award nominations, including for best picture, with Coppola taking home the Oscar for best original screenplay.