7:30 PM, 27th October, 2017
This is the true story of the unlikely relationship that develops between Queen Victoria (Dench) and one of her servants, Abdul Karim (Fazal). The Great Queen has been the subject of another biopic, also starring Judi Dench as the Queen: Mrs. Brown. The theme of both movies would appear to be that of the lonely widow, starved of close relationships.
Abdul Karim arrives from India to participate in Queen Victoria’s 1887 Golden Jubilee. The young man has been charged with the task of presenting a Jubilee Medal from India to the Queen. He is told never to make eye contact with her – “Whatever you do, you must not look at Her Majesty” – but he does so, and is surprised to find favour with her. As Victoria questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance that her household and inner circle try to destroy. As their friendship deepens, the Queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes, joyfully reclaiming her humanity.
Victoria & Abdul is as engaging as the wonderful Dame Judi’s previous work: a trouper who, at age 82, is still going very strong!!
9:32 PM, 27th October, 2017
Washed up Hollywood movie star Bob Harris (Murray) is in Tokyo to film a whiskey commercial for the Japanese market. He is struggling with a midlife crisis, family issues and culture shock from being so far away from home. Staying at the same hotel is twenty-something Charlotte (Johansson), who is newly wed to entertainment photographer John (Ribisi). With John out on assignment, Charlotte is frequently left alone. Isolated, she starts to question her life choices, her marriage and her identity. Both Bob and Charlotte are feeling lost in their current situations, until they find each other.
Lost in Translation is one of my favourite films of all time. Writer-director Sofia Coppola makes a film that finds the subtle beauty in everything, making iconic use of indie music and spectacular cinematography. She cleverly – and incredibly respectfully – highlights some of the quirky cultural differences between Western countries and Japan. If you have any interest whatsoever in Japan, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, romance, comedy, or independent film in general, you will no doubt enjoy this film. It is delightfully funny, subtle and touching – and in my humble opinion, Sofia Coppola’s best film to date, and one of the best films of the 2000s.