For relaxing times, make it Suntory time. Sofia Coppola has gone back to the renowned Japanese whisky Suntory to direct an ad for its 100th anniversary, with none other than Keanu Reeves leading the way.
In the Suntory ad, we see Keanu Reeves enter a bar as Joan Jett’s cover of “Crimson and Clover” is played on vinyl. From there, Reeves takes a seat with locals and enjoys a pour of the whisky, leading into a montage of various stills and clips, including some from Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation.
Sofia Coppola’s 2003 Oscar winner and WGA favorite Lost in Translation of course featured Suntory in one of its best scenes, with Bill Murray’s has-been actor Bob Harris sitting through a spot with a native Japanese director. But the Coppola connection goes back decades before, as her father, Francis Ford Coppola, appeared in a 1980 Suntory ad directed by one of the greatest Japanese filmmakers ever, Akira Kurosawa, a clip of which is featured in Sofia’s commercial.
Suntory singled out director Sofia Coppola in their YouTube write-up, saying, “The Suntory Whisky Anniversary Tribute tells the remarkable story of the brand’s heritage and whisky-making legacy over the last 100 years, depicting the meaning of ‘Suntory Time’ through the eyes of its creator. More than an iconic line in a brilliant film, ‘Suntory Time’ continues to evolve and gain recognition in Japanese whisky culture. Twenty years after the release of Lost in Translation, it is still embraced and echoed across the globe in connection with our world-renowned spirits. It all started with a glass of Hibiki, but today there is a ‘Suntory Time’ for every individual, every occasion, and every friend we meet along the way.”
Sofia Coppola and Keanu Reeves actually dated previously after the latter played Jonathan Harker for her old man in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Wait, was Coppola fine with Winona Ryder “marrying” Keanu Reeves while filming…? On their Suntory collaboration, Keanu Reeves said, “It was cool [to get] a chance to work with Sofia Coppola and to work with [her brother] Roman Coppola on a kind of short commercial and then a docu-series. It was a really special opportunity…It was wonderful, really wonderful. It was extraordinary to have the opportunity to spend time with people from Suntory, in terms of going to the founding distillery Yamazaki, then going and just meeting master blenders and all the craftspeople.” And that, dear readers, is how you get a lifetime supply of one of the tastiest whiskys on the market.
What do you think of Sofia Coppola’s Suntory ad featuring Keanu Reeves? It’s OK, you can tell us: what’s your go-to whisk(e)y?