The Virgin Suicides (1999)

SOFIA COPPOLA

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5.  USA, 1999.  American Zoetrope, Eternity Pictures, Muse Productions, Virgin Suicides LLC.  Screenplay by Sofia Coppola, based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , .  

Budding teenage sexuality drips from every frame of this promising debut by Sofia Coppola, adapted from the novel by Jeffrey Eugenides. Five girls live in a repressive environment created by their strict parents (, ). When one of the sisters commits suicide to escape their authority, it sets in motion a chain of events that will awaken their friends and neighbours to a new, naked consciousness that they cannot in any way reconcile with their previous existence.  is excellent as the most outspoken of the girls, and Coppola’s direction is superb. Had its characters been given a little more background the story might have been that much more riveting, but what the film leaves you with is a palpable mood that you won’t shake off easily; it’s no surprise that she went from this one to Lost In Translation, which maintained her hypnotic visual style while improving on the storytelling so much more.

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