November 30, 2010

The Virgin Suicides - 1999

Director: Sofia Coppola
Writer: Sofia Coppola
Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Josh Hartnett, James Woods, Kathleen Turner

"We would never be sure of the sequence of events. We argue about it still." The film tells the tale of the events leading up to the suicides of the five Lisbon sisters, told from the perspective of one of the neighborhood boys.

I think Sofia Coppola's one of those filmmakers that I'll never understand. I've seen both this and Lost in Translation (and am familiar enough with her take on Marie Antoinette) and I've yet to really enjoy any of them, but I feel like I should. Woods plays this great eccentric father type, and Turner's pretty good as the overprotective mother. All the girls are good too, I suppose, although some don't come off as young as they're meant to. My biggest issue was that this whole movie, I got a feeling of watching it through a veil or smokescreen. I know this is a fault of the novel this was adapted from (and I've been told aside from a scene dear Miss Coppola tacked on at the end featuring a debutante ball, it's pretty faithful), but telling a story from the perspective of someone besides the girls themselves, the viewer's left just as much out of the loop regarding the motivation behind the titular event, i.e. the most important thing in the whole movie. I'll give it a C, but I'm bumping it up a letter grade only because I know she's gotten so much praise over the years.

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