HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Advent Calendar, The
Champion
Merchant of Four Seasons, The
Love of Jeanne Ney, The
Blonde. Purple
Dirty Ho
Annette
Shepherd
Dying to Divorce
Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
Trouble with Being Born, The
Last Matinee, The
Strings, The
Free Hand for a Tough Cop
People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan
Dear Future Children
Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus
Swallow
Thin Red Line, The
Petite Maman
Fast & Furious 9
Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat
Sweet Thing
Maelstrom
Father, The
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Night House, The
Father of Flies
80,000 Years Old
Dead & Beautiful
Bull
Censor
Sleep
Freaky
Nightbooks
Whisker Away, A
Wild Indian
Whale Island
Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires
Don't Breathe 2
   
 
Newest Articles
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
   
 
  Virgin Suicides, The what it feels like for a girl
Year: 1999
Director: Sofia Coppola
Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Hannah Hall, Kathleen Turner, James Woods, Josh Hartnett, Scott Glenn, Danny DeVito, Michael Paré, Giovanni Ribisi
Genre: Drama, Romance, Weirdo, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  9 (from 4 votes)
Review: A moving and magical experience, Sofia Coppola’s feature film debut evokes adolescence as a dreamy journey of wonder, yearning and incommunicable sorrow. Set during the mid-seventies, amidst the melancholy-tinted summer of our dreams, our only guide is a nameless narrator (Giovanni Ribisi) recounting the tragedy that befell the five, ethereally beautiful Lisbon girls. 13-year-old Cecilia (Hannah Hall) slashes her wrists in a plaintive, cry for help ignored by her straight-laced, overly protective parents (James Woods and Kathleen Turner). During a well-intentioned, but disastrous party thrown by the Lisbons, Cecilia leaps to her death from her bedroom window, but returns periodically as a friendly ghost. Meanwhile, her sensual, outspoken sister Lux (Kirsten Dunst) falls for local stud Trip Fontaine (Josh Hartnett – never better). Things turn sour following their one night stand. Lux loses herself in sexual adventures, Mrs. Lisbon tightens her hold on the ‘wayward’ girls, while the lovestruck neighbourhood boys reach out in vain. Nothing, it seems, can prevent the encroaching tragedy.

Coppola’s filmic style has been much derided in recent times, and one feels compelled to defend her as a major artist. Few filmmakers are as gifted at translating intangible feelings and innermost thoughts into a wondrous visual grammar. Cinema poets like Alain Resnais and Wong Kar Wai must rank among her influences, but the nearest aesthetic comparisons can be found in the florid world of shōjo manga (Japanese girls’ comics). In shōjo sexual discovery becomes a flower blossom, adolescent longing is a bright star blazing across the sky, broken hearts fracture time and space – all images found here, via Coppola’s inspired use of time lapse, split screen, oversaturated colours, superimpositions and gorgeous, golden hued cinematography by Edward Lachman. This isn’t style for style’s sake; it’s filmmaking straight from the id. She takes us right inside a young girl’s mind, mixing heady romanticism and beguiling humour. For Coppola, sensitive types struggling to articulate inexpressible feelings are what it’s all about. Perhaps that’s why her detractors disparage her so. Amidst an impatient world, it’s an unfashionable theme, but few filmmakers are as gifted at conveying the utter joy of reaching out to someone and being miraculously understood. Or conversely, the despair of feeling trapped and ignored. A key scene has the Lisbon girls communicate with the neighbourhood boys by playing records over the phone. It’s silly, touching, and magical – a perfect encapsulation of adolescence.

Adapting a novel by Jeffrey Eugenides, Coppola grounds her dreamy reverie in razor sharp observations on high school, suburban life and societies inability to deal with tragedy, teenage angst and loneliness. She draws fantastic performances from James Woods (delightfully uncharacteristic as a shy, awkward father), and Hannah Hall as soulful Cecilia. Kirsten Dunst, among the finest actresses of her generation, dazzles as the desirable, heartbroken golden girl. Coppola’s mid-film montage is practically a hymn to her effervescent, blonde beauty. The Virgin Suicides weaves a delicate spell, as hypnotic as its spine-tingling soundtrack by Air. A modern classic.
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 3733 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Sofia Coppola  (1971 - )

The first American woman to be nominated for a best director Oscar, Sofia Coppola was born into a film making family, being the daughter of Francis Ford Coppola, and she got her start in the business appearing in her father's films such as Rumblefish, Peggy Sue Got Married and, notoriously, The Godfather Part III.

However, she acquitted herself as a movie talent in her own right with the haunting teen drama The Virgin Suicides and the poignant Japanese-set comedy Lost in Translation, for which she won a best screenplay Oscar. Marie Antoinette, however, was not as well received, but her follow-up Somewhere was better thought of, and true crime yarn The Bling Ring raised her profile once again, with her version of The Beguiled winning a prize at Cannes. She is the sister of fellow director Roman Coppola and the cousin of actors Nicolas Cage and Jason Schwartzman.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: