Joel E. Siegel’s review of Lost in Translation (“In a Bad Waif,” 9/12) shows his utter lack of understanding about the language of film. He goes out of his way to reference The Godfather: Part III in some lame argument against nepotism. If Siegel had used the career of Kate Hudson as an example against nepotism, I bet there would be a lot of people who would agree with him that nepotism is bad. But to dredge up a film from 12 years ago to illustrate your point is just plain mean. Sofia Coppola realizes that her strengths may not lie in acting, but I can’t see how anyone can sit through Lost in Translation and not be blown away by her talent as a screenwriter and as a director. The brilliant, understated performances of Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson are proof of Coppola’s directing chops.
I don’t understand Siegel’s request for a “zestful actress such as Reese Witherspoon or Christina Ricci” rather than Johansson, because a “zestful actress” would only undermine the audience’s understanding of the character’s combination of ennui and jet lag.