Virgin Suicides, The (1999): Sofia Coppola’s Moody, Promising Directing Debut, Starring Kirtsin Dunst

In her promising feature directorial debut, The Virgin Suicides, which was produced by her noted father, Sofia Coppola tackles the relevant issue of teenage suicide with an assured treatment that employs effectively a serio-comic tone.

Grade: B+ (**** out of *****)

The Virgin Suicides

Theatrical release poster

Set in a Michigan suburb in the early 1970s, this darkly humorous exploration benefits from an original narrative structure that views the story from a contemporary male perspective, and from the fact that, unlike most American teen pix, its appealing cast consists of actors who are the same age as the young characters they play.

Theatrical prospects are good for a timely and accomplished movie that, with the right handling, may generate social controversy and perhaps even bring to the theaters youthful as well as more mature viewers.

Adapting to the screen Jeffrey Eugenides’s well-received 1991 novel, scripter-helmer Sofia is young enough to revisit the 1970s and offer critically alert insights that older, usually male, filmmakers are less capable of. Though her direction is uneven, Sofia should be credited for avoiding an easier satirical approach a la Heathers and steering clear of the trivial and pandering nature of so many American youth pix at present. Humor prevails throughout, but it doesn’t deflate the disturbing elements of the tale, which miraculously manages to stay droll, heartfelt and poignant to the end.

Headed by a quirky high school math teacher (James Woods) and his rigid religious wife (Kathleen Turner), the Lisbons appear to be a healthy, functional American family. Living in a typical suburban house, they have five daughters who are a year apart in age, the youngest (13) being Cecilia and the eldest (17) Therese. However, any illusion of ordinariness or normalcy are shattered in the first reel, when the narrator (Giovanni Ribisi) announces: “Cecilia was the first to go.”

When Dr. Hornicker (Danny DeVitto) reproaches Cecilia that she is not old enough to know how bad life is, she says matter-of factly: “Obviously, you have never been a 13-year old girl.” After slitting her wrists, Mr. Lisbon removes rather naively the sharp fence over which Cecilia jumped, hoping that her act was just a random accident. Cecilia is brought home, and Father Moody (Scott Glenn) recommends more socializing with boys, which encourages the Lisbons to give what turns out to be the first and only party in their house

Told through the recollections of the boys as mature men, the film provides a multi-layered view of their incessant fascination with the quintet of girls. Quite inventively, yarn switches smoothly from voice-over narration to flashbacks that recreate all the adolescence rites of passage that viewers can easily relate to.

The central reel is devoted to Lux (Kirtsin Dunst) who, along with Cecilia, are the only fully developed characters; the other sisters are mostly in the background, as entourage. Trip (Josh Hartnett), the school’s hunk, who can get any girl he wants, is smitten with Lux at first sight. In a series of charming scenes, he goes out of his way to impress her father that he is a gentleman with honorable intentions.

After numerous family discussions, the girls are given approval to go to a dance ball, in which Trip and Lux consummate their passion. In a most devastating scene, lenser Ed Luchman shows with a bravura high-angle long shot how Trip inexplicably leaves the scene as a bewildered Lux finds herself at dawn all alone in the football field.

After Cecilia’s death and this incident, the Lisbon family begins to disintegrate, spiraling downward into a creepy state of isolation. The girls are taken out of school and are quarantined by their zealously protective mother. But the neighborhood boys become even more intrigued and they continue to watch and spy on the girls, particularly Lux, as she loses her self-worth and throws herself indiscriminately into sexual abandon on the roof.

Finally, the boys decide to take action and contact the secluded girls. In a series of serio-comic scenes, they exchange messages by playing popular songs one the phone. Then, late one night, they pull courage and sneak into the house with Lux’s encouragement. It seems as if the girls are going to be rescued and escape out of what earlier a gossipy neighbor describes as a “decorating scheme,” referring to the Lisbons’ tacky taste. The resolution, in which the quartet commits suicide in various ways, is not only shocking, but also deeply upsetting, particularly as Mrs. Lisbon continues to insist “there was always plenty of love in our house.”

Presented as a puzzle, which the boys–and the viewers–attempt to piece together, Virgin Suicides has the good sense of furnishing hints of the ills that beset this archetypal nuclear family, but no easily-digested psycho-social explanations. It’s also significant that the last word belongs to the men, who continue to mourn the girls they have loved but never really understood.

Overall, Sofia acquits herself better as helmer than scripter: The narration suffers from being both too literal and too literary. Visually impressive, the film contains several dreamlike slow-motion sequences and hazy close-ups.

And although her direction is not as sharply focused as it should be, for a first effort, the film represents an honorable achievement, particularly in the credible, often touching performances of the entire youthful cast.

Of the girls, Dunst and Hall stand out, and of the boys, Hartnett, Tucker, and DeSimone. In restrained, understated roles, Woods and Turner are excellent as the bourgeois parents. Production values are impressive, especially Lachman’s precise rendering of mundane suburbanism, Jasna Stefanovic’s tacky design of the Lisbons house’s interiors, and Nancy Steiner’s tawdry costumes, all vividly capturing “ordinary” American life in the 1970s.


Directed by Sofia Coppola
Produced by Francis Ford Coppola, Julie Costanzo, Chris Hanley, Dan Halsted

Screenplay by Sofia Coppola, based on “The Virgin Suicides” by Jeffrey Eugenides
Music by Air
Cinematography: Edward Lachman
Edited by James Lyons, Melissa Kent

Production company: Paramount Classics, American Zoetrope, Muse Productions, Eternity Pictures

Distributed by Paramount Pictures

Release date: May 19, 1999 (Cannes Fest); April 21, 2000 (U.S.)

Running time: 97 minutes
Budget $6.1 million
Box office $10.4 million

xosotin chelseathông tin chuyển nhượngcâu lạc bộ bóng đá arsenalbóng đá atalantabundesligacầu thủ haalandUEFAevertonxosokeonhacaiketquabongdalichthidau7m.newskqbdtysokeobongdabongdalufutebol ao vivofutemaxmulticanaisonbetbsport.fitonbet88.oooi9bet.bizhi88.ooookvip.atf8bet.atfb88.cashvn88.cashshbet.atbóng đá world cupbóng đá inter milantin juventusbenzemala ligaclb leicester cityMUman citymessi lionelsalahnapolineymarpsgronaldoserie atottenhamvalenciaAS ROMALeverkusenac milanmbappenapolinewcastleaston villaliverpoolfa cupreal madridpremier leagueAjaxbao bong da247EPLbarcelonabournemouthaff cupasean footballbên lề sân cỏbáo bóng đá mớibóng đá cúp thế giớitin bóng đá ViệtUEFAbáo bóng đá việt namHuyền thoại bóng đágiải ngoại hạng anhSeagametap chi bong da the gioitin bong da lutrận đấu hôm nayviệt nam bóng đátin nong bong daBóng đá nữthể thao 7m24h bóng đábóng đá hôm naythe thao ngoai hang anhtin nhanh bóng đáphòng thay đồ bóng đábóng đá phủikèo nhà cái onbetbóng đá lu 2thông tin phòng thay đồthe thao vuaapp đánh lô đềdudoanxosoxổ số giải đặc biệthôm nay xổ sốkèo đẹp hôm nayketquaxosokq xskqxsmnsoi cầu ba miềnsoi cau thong kesxkt hôm naythế giới xổ sốxổ số 24hxo.soxoso3mienxo so ba mienxoso dac bietxosodientoanxổ số dự đoánvé số chiều xổxoso ket quaxosokienthietxoso kq hôm nayxoso ktxổ số megaxổ số mới nhất hôm nayxoso truc tiepxoso ViệtSX3MIENxs dự đoánxs mien bac hom nayxs miên namxsmientrungxsmn thu 7con số may mắn hôm nayKQXS 3 miền Bắc Trung Nam Nhanhdự đoán xổ số 3 miềndò vé sốdu doan xo so hom nayket qua xo xoket qua xo so.vntrúng thưởng xo sokq xoso trực tiếpket qua xskqxs 247số miền nams0x0 mienbacxosobamien hôm naysố đẹp hôm naysố đẹp trực tuyếnnuôi số đẹpxo so hom quaxoso ketquaxstruc tiep hom nayxổ số kiến thiết trực tiếpxổ số kq hôm nayso xo kq trực tuyenkết quả xổ số miền bắc trực tiếpxo so miền namxổ số miền nam trực tiếptrực tiếp xổ số hôm nayket wa xsKQ XOSOxoso onlinexo so truc tiep hom nayxsttso mien bac trong ngàyKQXS3Msố so mien bacdu doan xo so onlinedu doan cau loxổ số kenokqxs vnKQXOSOKQXS hôm naytrực tiếp kết quả xổ số ba miềncap lo dep nhat hom naysoi cầu chuẩn hôm nayso ket qua xo soXem kết quả xổ số nhanh nhấtSX3MIENXSMB chủ nhậtKQXSMNkết quả mở giải trực tuyếnGiờ vàng chốt số OnlineĐánh Đề Con Gìdò số miền namdò vé số hôm nayso mo so debach thủ lô đẹp nhất hôm naycầu đề hôm naykết quả xổ số kiến thiết toàn quốccau dep 88xsmb rong bach kimket qua xs 2023dự đoán xổ số hàng ngàyBạch thủ đề miền BắcSoi Cầu MB thần tàisoi cau vip 247soi cầu tốtsoi cầu miễn phísoi cau mb vipxsmb hom nayxs vietlottxsmn hôm naycầu lô đẹpthống kê lô kép xổ số miền Bắcquay thử xsmnxổ số thần tàiQuay thử XSMTxổ số chiều nayxo so mien nam hom nayweb đánh lô đề trực tuyến uy tínKQXS hôm nayxsmb ngày hôm nayXSMT chủ nhậtxổ số Power 6/55KQXS A trúng roycao thủ chốt sốbảng xổ số đặc biệtsoi cầu 247 vipsoi cầu wap 666Soi cầu miễn phí 888 VIPSoi Cau Chuan MBđộc thủ desố miền bắcthần tài cho sốKết quả xổ số thần tàiXem trực tiếp xổ sốXIN SỐ THẦN TÀI THỔ ĐỊACầu lô số đẹplô đẹp vip 24hsoi cầu miễn phí 888xổ số kiến thiết chiều nayXSMN thứ 7 hàng tuầnKết quả Xổ số Hồ Chí Minhnhà cái xổ số Việt NamXổ Số Đại PhátXổ số mới nhất Hôm Nayso xo mb hom nayxxmb88quay thu mbXo so Minh ChinhXS Minh Ngọc trực tiếp hôm nayXSMN 88XSTDxs than taixổ số UY TIN NHẤTxs vietlott 88SOI CẦU SIÊU CHUẨNSoiCauVietlô đẹp hôm nay vipket qua so xo hom naykqxsmb 30 ngàydự đoán xổ số 3 miềnSoi cầu 3 càng chuẩn xácbạch thủ lônuoi lo chuanbắt lô chuẩn theo ngàykq xo-solô 3 càngnuôi lô đề siêu vipcầu Lô Xiên XSMBđề về bao nhiêuSoi cầu x3xổ số kiến thiết ngày hôm nayquay thử xsmttruc tiep kết quả sxmntrực tiếp miền bắckết quả xổ số chấm vnbảng xs đặc biệt năm 2023soi cau xsmbxổ số hà nội hôm naysxmtxsmt hôm nayxs truc tiep mbketqua xo so onlinekqxs onlinexo số hôm nayXS3MTin xs hôm nayxsmn thu2XSMN hom nayxổ số miền bắc trực tiếp hôm naySO XOxsmbsxmn hôm nay188betlink188 xo sosoi cầu vip 88lô tô việtsoi lô việtXS247xs ba miềnchốt lô đẹp nhất hôm naychốt số xsmbCHƠI LÔ TÔsoi cau mn hom naychốt lô chuẩndu doan sxmtdự đoán xổ số onlinerồng bạch kim chốt 3 càng miễn phí hôm naythống kê lô gan miền bắcdàn đề lôCầu Kèo Đặc Biệtchốt cầu may mắnkết quả xổ số miền bắc hômSoi cầu vàng 777thẻ bài onlinedu doan mn 888soi cầu miền nam vipsoi cầu mt vipdàn de hôm nay7 cao thủ chốt sốsoi cau mien phi 7777 cao thủ chốt số nức tiếng3 càng miền bắcrồng bạch kim 777dàn de bất bạion newsddxsmn188betw88w88789bettf88sin88suvipsunwintf88five8812betsv88vn88Top 10 nhà cái uy tínsky88iwinlucky88nhacaisin88oxbetm88vn88w88789betiwinf8betrio66rio66lucky88oxbetvn88188bet789betMay-88five88one88sin88bk88xbetoxbetMU88188BETSV88RIO66ONBET88188betM88M88SV88Jun-68Jun-88one88iwinv9betw388OXBETw388w388onbetonbetonbetonbet88onbet88onbet88onbet88onbetonbetonbetonbetqh88mu88Nhà cái uy tínpog79vp777vp777vipbetvipbetuk88uk88typhu88typhu88tk88tk88sm66sm66me88me888live8live8livesm66me88win798livesm66me88win79pog79pog79vp777vp777uk88uk88tk88tk88luck8luck8kingbet86kingbet86k188k188hr99hr99123b8xbetvnvipbetsv66zbettaisunwin-vntyphu88vn138vwinvwinvi68ee881xbetrio66zbetvn138i9betvipfi88clubcf68onbet88ee88typhu88onbetonbetkhuyenmai12bet-moblie12betmoblietaimienphi247vi68clupcf68clupvipbeti9betqh88onb123onbefsoi cầunổ hũbắn cáđá gàđá gàgame bàicasinosoi cầuxóc đĩagame bàigiải mã giấc mơbầu cuaslot gamecasinonổ hủdàn đềBắn cácasinodàn đềnổ hũtài xỉuslot gamecasinobắn cáđá gàgame bàithể thaogame bàisoi cầukqsssoi cầucờ tướngbắn cágame bàixóc đĩa开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育亚新体育亚新体育亚新体育爱游戏爱游戏爱游戏华体会华体会华体会IM体育IM体育沙巴体育沙巴体育PM体育PM体育AG尊龙AG尊龙AG尊龙AG百家乐AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人<AG真人<皇冠体育皇冠体育PG电子PG电子万博体育万博体育KOK体育KOK体育欧宝体育江南体育江南体育江南体育半岛体育半岛体育半岛体育凯发娱乐凯发娱乐杏彩体育杏彩体育杏彩体育FB体育PM真人PM真人<米乐娱乐米乐娱乐天博体育天博体育开元棋牌开元棋牌j9九游会j9九游会开云体育AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人爱游戏华体会华体会im体育kok体育开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育欧宝体育ob体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育开云体育开云体育棋牌棋牌沙巴体育买球平台新葡京娱乐开云体育mu88qh88