Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Virgin Suicides (1999)

I will see anything with Sofia Coppola's name attached to it (unless she's, erm, "acting") and a lot of what I like about her films was very well developed in her first feature film, The Virgin Suicides. The story focuses on a group of sisters raised by strict religious parents. When their youngest sister commits suicide, the sisters become more and more isolated, peaking their neighbors' curiosity, and eventually deciding their own fate.

The film is dreamy, surreal, and sad. The girls float through the scenes like beautiful blonde ghosts, and the very 70s look of the characters (flowing dresses and long unkempt hair) adds to the dream-like quality. Add an amazing soundtrack by Air and you've got yourself a winner. And Kirsten Dunst is just perfect in this. She plays one of the sisters, and while she uses flirtation and cheekiness as an escape in the film, you can see the sadness in her eyes.

Coppola's films tend to be light on plot, but rich in emotional resonance. It's like a warm bath that you have to settle into and just enjoy. The film leaves you with more questions than answers, but it's an aesthetic treasure. It's streamable on Netflix, too!


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