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 Jeffrey Eugenides. Cinematography by Edward Lachman. Produced by Francis Ford Coppola, Julie Costanzo, Dan Halsted, Chris Hanley. Music by Air. Production Design by Jasna Stefanovic. Costume Design by Nancy Steiner. Film Editing by Melissa Kent, James Lyons.
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 (James Woods, Kathleen Turner). 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. Kirsten Dunst 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.