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For her astonishingly assured feature directorial debut, Sofia Coppola adapted the Jeffrey Eugenides novel of adolescent repression and rebellion in an upper-class 1970s Detroit suburb.
“Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides is such a disarmingly poetic – and specifically female – vision of adolescence that it belongs in a category of its own.” – Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
In The Virgin Suicides, a group of local boys are mesmerized by the mysterious Lisbon sisters, whose radiant blonde beauty and unknowable secrets cast them as suburban teenage sirens in the young men’s fantasies. Following the suicide of the youngest Lisbon girl, the four remaining sisters are removed from school and confined to the family home under the watchful eyes of their over-protective parents (played by James Woods and Kathleen Turner), while their frustrated admirers go to extreme lengths to maintain contact. The formerly joyful girls begin to wilt under these oppressive conditions, and when one of the sisters, the ethereal Lux (Kirsten Dunst), strikes up a relationship with high school dreamboat Trip (Josh Hartnett), their storybook love sets in motion a tragic chain of events that finds the captive Lisbon sisters self-destructing on the path to oblivion. Heartbreaking, hypnotic and soulfully funny, Coppola’s mesmerizing ode to suburban angst, sexual awakening and the emotionally-complicated tribulations of young womanhood is a unique fairy tale driven by sun-dappled ‘70s atmosphere and a menacingly moody score by the French electronic music duo, Air. (Dir. by Sofia Coppola, 1999, USA, 97 mins., Rated R)