Washed-up Hollywood actor Bob Harris (Murray) is in Tokyo to film ads for Suntory whisky. Not knowing the language and not being familiar with the culture, he finds the exercise difficult, with the translations lacking. In the hotel he meets Charlotte (Johansson) a recent graduate from Yale with a degree in philosophy who is accompanying her photographer husband, John, who is in Tokyo on assignment. Charlotte has not found her purpose in life, and is stranded in the hotel while John is out working. This leads Charlotte to explore what Japan has to offer, but she often finds these experiences have little impact with her, reflecting after one visit that she "didn't feel anything". Together Charlotte and Bob make the most of their situation and find that they develop an especially strong bond that both need even if they can't explain it.
The film received much acclaim when first released, with 95% on Rotten Tomatoes and going onto many critics best films lists. It has the rare quality of a film that is both sincere without becoming over sentimental or sappy, maintaining a clear eyed, yet compassionate look at its subjects. It features subtle and stellar performances from Murray, revealing an ability to handle poignant as well as the more humours tone of his earlier career, and newcomer at the time Johansson, who was only 18 at the time of filming.
The film will be screened on Wednesday 12 October at 6pm at Narellan Library, Corner of Queen and Elyard Street, Narellan. Tea, coffee, and biscuits provided, but BYO snacks are more than welcome. Stay after the screening to share your thoughts about the film and join in a discussion about the many heartfelt moments in the film.