Virgin Suicides

"Good"

Virgin Suicides Review


Whether it's a skill learned hanging around the sets ofher father's movies or something in the family blood, SofiaCoppola has definitely inherited a distinguishable talent as a filmmaker.

"The Virgin Suicides" -- her moody, dark andwhimsical first feature from behind the camera -- is a mesmerizing andaccomplished directorial debut about an enigmatic quintet of innocentlyseductive teenage sisters who all kill themselves in the course of onemonth in the mid-1970s.

The story was adapted by Coppola herself from a best-sellerby Jeffrey Eugenides, and is curiously told from the perspective of a handfulof neighborhood boys, smitten and spellbound by the girls as teenagersand still haunted by their inexplicable deaths 25 years later.

Wholesomely beautiful Kirsten Dunst ( "Dick," "DropDead Gorgeous"), an astoundingly unaffectedyoung actress with an intrinsic understanding of her sweetness and buddingsexuality, stars as Lux Libson, the middle sister whose quiet rebelliousstreak makes her the center of the boys' attention.

Just learning to test her temptressness, Lux is the kindof girl that teases as part of a giddy, grand experiment in her power overthe opposite sex. She's the leader of the pack when the sisters begin petitioningtheir strict, quirky parents (James Woods and Kathleen Turner, both brilliant)for permission to attend their first ever school dance -- mostly becauseshe's already secured a date with the Trip Fontaine (love that name!),the school's GTO-driving rebel dreamboat played by Josh Hartnett ( "HereOn Earth").

(In a stroke of ingenious casting, Michael Pare -- theback-alley charmer from "Eddie and the Cruisers" and "Streetsof Fire" -- has a cameo as the grown-up Trip, reminiscing about beingbewitched by the Libson sisters.)

But when Lux loses her virginity that night and returnshome way past curfew (the next morning, in fact), their rigid mom and dadreact by pulling the girls out of school completely and locking them awayin the house as part of a misguided attempt to both punish and protect them.

Then, one by one, the sisters begin quietly succumbing to morose and overwhelming feelings of angst and eerie ennui with tragic results.

Coppola demonstrates a confident command of all the elementsof her medium, giving "Virgin Suicides" a consistently dream-likeambiance. She captures perfectly the fondness and bewilderment the girlsinspired in life and especially in death for these mesmerized boys thathave never forgotten them.

Visually, atmospherically, emotionally, she nails the factthat this story is being told as it was remembered, not necessarily asit really was. She deliberately does not depict discernible reasons forthe girls' suicides, yet through her focus on Lux, she paints an indelible,feminine portrait of them. This in addition to their role as enrapturing,idyllic objects of desire and conundrum in the eyes of the narrating boys.

If the movie has one obvious flaw, it is that Lux's sisters(played by Hanna Hall, A.J. Cook, Leslie Hayman and Chelse Swain, youngersibling of "Lolita"star Dominique Swain) amount to little more than extras. Coppola chosewisely to focus on only one Libson girl, but the others get so little screentime that they're utterly interchangeable.

Save that, the captivating, catchy and detail-oriented"Virgin Suicides" is one of the most promising directorial debutsin recent memory, with the ability to cast a spell I have yet to shakethree weeks after seeing the film. Whether it's a skill learned hangingaround the sets of her father's movies or something in the family blood,SofiaCoppola has definitely inherited a distinguishabletalent as a filmmaker.

"The Virgin Suicides" -- her moody, dark andwhimsical first feature from behind the camera -- is a mesmerizing andaccomplished directorial debut about an enigmatic quintet of innocentlyseductive teenage sisters who all kill themselves in the course of onemonth in the mid-1970s.

The story was adapted by Coppola herself from a best-sellerby Jeffrey Eugenides, and is curiously told from the perspective of a handfulof neighborhood boys, smitten and spellbound by the girls as teenagersand still haunted by their inexplicable deaths 25 years later.

Wholesomely beautiful Kirsten Dunst ("Dick,""DropDead Gorgeous"), an astoundingly unaffectedyoung actress with an intrinsic understanding of her sweetness and buddingsexuality, stars as Lux Libson, the middle sister whose quiet rebelliousstreak makes her the center of the boys' attention.

Just learning to test her temptressness, Lux is the kindof girl that teases as part of a giddy, grand experiment in her power overthe opposite sex. She's the leader of the pack when the sisters begin petitioningtheir strict, quirky parents (James Woods and Kathleen Turner, both brilliant)for permission to attend their first ever school dance -- mostly becauseshe's already secured a date with the Trip Fontaine (love that name!),the school's GTO-driving rebel dreamboat played by Josh Hartnett ("HereOn Earth").

(In a stroke of ingenious casting, Michael Pare -- theback-alley charmer from "Eddie and the Cruisers" and "Streetsof Fire" -- has a cameo as the grown-up Trip, reminiscing about beingbewitched by the Libson sisters.)

But when Lux loses her virginity that night and returnshome way past curfew (the next morning, in fact), their rigid mom and dadreact by pulling the girls out of school completely and locking them awayin the house as part of a misguided attempt to both punish and protectthem.

Then, one by one, the sisters begin quietly succumbingto morose and overwhelming feelings of angst and eerie ennui with tragicresults.

Coppola demonstrates a confident command of all the elementsof her medium, giving "Virgin Suicides" a consistently dream-likeambiance. She captures perfectly the fondness and bewilderment the girlsinspired in life and especially in death for these mesmerized boys thathave never forgotten them.

Visually, atmospherically, emotionally, she nails the factthat this story is being told as it was remembered, not necessarily asit really was. She deliberately does not depict discernible reasons forthe girls' suicides, yet through her focus on Lux, she paints an indelible,feminine portrait of them. This in addition to their role as enrapturing,idyllic objects of desire and conundrum in the eyes of the narrating boys.

If the movie has one obvious flaw, it is that Lux's sisters(played by Hanna Hall, A.J. Cook, Leslie Hayman and Chelse Swain, youngersibling of "Lolita" star Dominique Swain) amount to little more than extras. Coppola chosewisely to focus on only one Libson girl, but the others get so little screentime that they're utterly interchangeable.

Save that, the captivating, catchy and detail-oriented"Virgin Suicides" is one of the most promising directorial debutsin recent memory, with the ability to cast a spell I have yet to shakethree weeks after seeing the film.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 45 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 13th September 2012

Box Office Worldwide: $10.4M

Budget: $6M

Production compaines: American Zoetrope

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 8.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Lux Lisbon, as Mr. Lisbon, as Mrs. Lisbon, as Trip Fontaine, as Mary Lisbon, as Therese Lisbon, as Bonnie Lisbon, Anthony DeSimone as Chase Buell, as Father Moody, as Dr. Horniker, Lee Kagan as David Barker, as Paul Baldino, as Tim Weiner, as Joe Hill Conley, as Narrator, as Cecilia Lisbon, as Dominic Palazzolo

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.