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The Virgin Suicides (1999)

Cast: Kirsten Dunst, James Woods, Kathleen Turner, more...
Director: Sofia Coppola
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Paramount
Genre: Drama, Costume Drama/Period Piece, Coming of Age
Running Time: 96 min.
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

A dark comedy punctuated by moments of drama, The Virgin Suicides explores the emotional underpinnings of a family starting to come apart at the seams in 1970's Midwestern America. The Lisbons seem like an ordinary enough family; Father (James Woods) teaches math at a high school in Michigan, Mother (Kathleen Turner) has a strong religious faith, and they have five teenage daughters, ranging from 13-year-old Cecilia (Hannah Hall) to 17-year-old Therese (Leslie Hayman). However, the Lisbon family's sense of normalcy is shattered when Cecilia falls into a deep depression and attempts suicide. The family is shaken and Mother and Father seek the advice of psychiatrist Dr. Hornicker (Danny DeVito), who suggests the girls should be allowed to socialize more with boys. However, boys soon become a serious problem for Cecilia's sister Lux (Kirsten Dunst). Lux has attracted the eye of a high-school Romeo named Trip (Josh Hartnett), who assures Father of his good intentions. But Cecilia finally makes good on her decision to kill herself, throwing the Lisbons into a panic; and after attending a school dance, Trip seduces and then abandons Lux. The Lisbons pull their daughters out of school, as an emotionally frayed Mother keeps close watch over them. Meanwhile, Lux continues to attract the attentions of the local boys, and she responds with a series of clandestine sexual episodes with random partners as often as she can sneak out of the house. The debut feature from Sofia Coppola (whose father, Francis Ford Coppola, co-produced this film), The Virgin Suicides also features supporting performances from Scott Glenn and Giovanni Ribisi. The film was shown as part of the Directors Fortnight series as the 1999 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

blue popsicles on the inside of your mouth by KJoan March 16, 2007 - 11:28 AM PDT
I love Sophia Coppola. Her sense of color and choice of film defines the movie as much as the plot. The switch between a dreamy, almost painted sepia tone and sharp relief adds to her overall sense of story. Her visual choices set the tone of the story, set up your ideas of the plot and add to it in ways that make her style unique and cary you along for the ride. I have seen this film twice now and I am sure I will see it again.

Sofia Coppola understands pacing by Misshaped March 27, 2004 - 12:53 PM PST
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
I didn't see this film when it first came out, but I decided to rent it after seeing Lost in Translation. I am now convinced Sofia Coppola has an amazing sense of pacing in her movies. She allows enough time for the viewers to fully immerse themselves in the story line and really care about the characters and their situations. She doesn't rush a single thing in this movie, nor does she make you feel like you have to take a leap of faith to believe what she's trying to convey. It all feels completely natural. The cast is incredible and Sofia has created an environment where you believe this family. By the end, you'll be glad she took the time to take you on a careful journey into the lives of these young women. What a great first film.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.74)
404 Votes
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