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The Virgin Suicides
The Virgin Suicides
Actors: Kirsten Dunst, Hayden Christensen
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2000     1hr 37min

In a quiet Michigan community in the mid-1970s, neighborhood boys try to piece together the lives of the five Lisbon sisters, kept isolated by their over-protective parents. — Genre: Feature Film-Drama — Rating: R — Release D...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Kirsten Dunst, Hayden Christensen
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Love & Romance, Family Life, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Paramount
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 12/19/2000
Original Release Date: 01/01/2000
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2000
Release Year: 2000
Run Time: 1hr 37min
Screens: Color,Full Screen,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French, French
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Member Movie Reviews

Sharon C. (Sierrastar) from BLYTHEWOOD, SC
Reviewed on 10/21/2012...
I wanted to watch this movie because it took place close to where I lived in Michigan. It was a good movie but very sad.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Lucye C. from DALLAS, GA
Reviewed on 5/11/2010...
It was very good.
1 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Remarkable Debut for Director Sofia Coppola!
Benjamin J Burgraff | Las Vegas | 12/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"'The Virgin Suicides' is a beautiful, understated, and tragic drama, punctuated by great rock music of the late '70s, and featuring terrific performances, particularly by Kirsten Dunst, Josh Hartlett, and a nearly unrecognizable Kathleen Turner. What makes the film even more remarkable is that it is the directorial debut by Francis Ford Coppola's daughter, Sofia, best known prior to this by her less-than-stellar performance in 'Godfather 3'! Her sensitivity with this material establishes her as a director to be reckoned with, and a true talent!The film focuses on the five Lisbon sisters, beautiful, yet repressed by a religious and overly protective mother (Turner), who encourages their intellectual growth, but tries to block any sexual or emotional stirrings. The girls turn their passions into other channels, bonding tightly with one another, and viewing the world as outsiders. When the youngest attempts, then succeeds at killing herself, the family gains an unwanted notoriety, and a group of local boys begin to worship the remaining sisters from afar, gathering materials, and creating a fantasy world about them. Lux, the most beautiful and free-spirited of the sisters (Dunst), attracts the attentions of the most popular boy in school, Tripp (Hartnett), who confuses raging hormones with love, and begins a campaign to 'have' her. Winning the respect of their father (James Woods, in another excellent 'against-type' portrayal), he succeeds in wearing the mother down, and arranges 'dates' for the sisters, so he can take Lux to the Homecoming Dance. The party provides the springboard for the tragedy that gives the film its name, and catapults the girls into icons that the boys who admire them can never forget.There are many reasons to buy this film; Coppola's understanding of how boys and girls interact, and her sure touch with their issues about sexuality; Kirsten Dunst's best performance to date, conveying both sweetness, and barely suppressed erotic desire; Kathleen Turner's breakthrough as a character actress, sacrificing her glamorous persona for a stocky and frumpy matron. There are some excellent cameos, as well, particularly Danny DeVito as a clueless psychiatrist, Scott Glenn as a family priest who offers platitudes instead of comfort, and Michael Paré as an older Tripp, reminiscing about Lux, and their 'love'.This is a very special film, one that you will not soon forget! I highly recommend it!"
The Loss Of Innocence
Kayla | Meridian, MS USA | 06/08/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The Virgin Suicides is Sofia Coppola's directorial debut, and its effectiveness illustrates that she's better behind the camera than she is in front of it. (Most movie-goers will remember her ill-fated attempt to portray Michael Corleone's daughter in The Godfather III.) Tragic, haunting, and sometimes darkly comedic, this movie leaves a strong impression in its telling of a story about the destruction of innocence. The film is based on the book by Jeffrey Eugenides, which happens to be Coppola's favorite novel. As a result, she felt that, in bringing the adaptation to the screen, she had a strong responsibility to be faithful to the source material. The time frame is the mid-'70s and the setting is an upper class suburban community in Michigan. The film tells the sad story of the five Lisbon sisters - Cecilia (age 13, played by Hanna Hall), Lux (age 14, played by Kirsten Dunst), Bonnie (age 15, played by Chelsea Swain), Mary (age 16, played by A.J. Cook), and Therese (age 17, played by Leslie Hayman) - all of whom come to a bad end before finishing high school (this much is revealed during the introductory voiceover, which is provided by Giovanni Ribisi). Unhappy, neglected Cecilia is the first to give up on life - after surviving one suicide attempt, she is successful on the second try. In the wake of that event, the atmosphere surrounding the surviving sisters becomes grim, and their parents' overprotectiveness threatens to suffocate them. For most children, mothers and fathers set boundaries; for the Lisbons, it's iron bars. The Virgin Suicides is filmed as a memory looking back through 25 years, and the point-of-view is that of a boy who was in love with one (or perhaps all) of the girls. As a result, the events recounted here offer a filtered perspective of the sisters and the complexities of their lives. Presenting things in this manner, The Virgin Suicides manages to be both poignant and touchingly nostalgic. Also, Coppola's style is such that she avoids turning the film into a sudsy melodrama that glamorizes self-destruction. One of The Virgin Suicides' strengths is its ability to effectively capture the nuances of teenage life during the '70s. Coppola gets all of the little things right: the awkwardness of a chaperoned boy/girl party, the thrill of first love, and the nervousness of the pre-dance ritual (in this case, the homecoming dance, not the prom). The film also boasts a solid soundtrack featuring a few songs that haven't been endlessly recycled in other, recent, set-in-the-'70s features. In one key scene, music provides a link between the Lisbon girls and the outside world - it becomes their only viable means of communication and free expression. Most of the cast is comprised of fresh faces, all of whom do solid jobs. The more recognizable names include Kirsten Dunst as Lux (the girl with the most visible role), James Woods (as the girls' father), and Kathleen Turner (as their mother). Josh Hartnett (last seen as the guy who loses the girl in Here On Earth), who is slowly building a reputation in Hollywood, plays heartthrob Trip Fontaine, whose poor treatment of Lux sets off a chain of events that leads to one of the movie's tragedies. The Virgin Suicides also includes excerpts from a modern-day interview with a forty-something Trip (played by Michael Pare), who clearly has regrets about his treatment of Lux. By using occasional bursts of humor and setting up the film as a collage of reminiscences, Coppola establishes a mood that is wistful and sad, but not funereal. There are a few instances when the film gets a little heavy handed, but, for the most part, the tone is well modulated. Although Coppola almost certainly gained more than a little help from her famous father in getting the production off the ground, the talent evident in her debut argues that this is not a case of unwarranted nepotism. The apple has not fallen far from the tree."
Lawrance M. Bernabo | 01/04/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This film was amazing. The entire piece comes off as being a dream or memory(which is what it is), it's so wispy and cryptic. Like memories, the pieces aren't all there. The criticisms I've heard mainly reflect that there is no motivation for the suicides, or that the three 'Non-Lux, non-Cecilia'(i.e., Bonnie, Mary, and Therese) aren't developed. That's the point. The girls aren't intended to be individual characters, but a collective symbol of unobtainable beauty and desire always out of reach. The only reason Cecilia and Lux are as developed as they are is that Cecilia killed herself first, and Lux played a vital role in one particular boy's memory. If another boy had told the story, he may have recalled a version where Bonnie played a key part.Also, the nature of the suicides was meant to be unknown. That's the premise of the movie. The movie is shown from the perspective of the neighborhood boys, who have never found out why it happened. The movie retains the voyeuristic sense by not letting us know anything the boys never did. In fact, the only time we see inside the house(with the exception of Cecilia's initial attempt, but that is only because the news spread regardless) is when another character is in there whose story eventually gets back to the boys.The film works best in the first half, when it is virtually without a main plot, and is made up only of fantasies, dreams, and memories. Once we get to the present-day(in the narrator's sense) storyline(the dance), it becomes more like a normal teen flick(while still holding true to the dark suicide theme) and loses the surreality that keeps you captivated in the first forty or so minutes. However, by the time of the sisters' final act, the film has descended back into its incredible feel of 'this-isn't-happening', and the Virgin Suicides pulls off exactly what it promises: a mysterious, seductive tale we can't hope to understand."