8:00 PM, 7th March, 2001
The Virgin Suicides is Sofia Coppola's directorial debut. Based on the book by Jeffrey Eugenides, which happens to be Coppola's favorite novel, she has remained very faithful to the source material. The Virgin Suicides is filmed as a memory looking back through 25 years at the lives of the Lisbon girls((mdash))Cecilia (age 13), Lux (age 14), Bonnie (age 15), Mary (age 16), and Therese (age 17), from the point of view of a boy who was in love with one, or perhaps all, of them. The events recounted here offer a filtered perspective of the sisters and the complexities of their lives as the actions of their overprotective parents threaten to suffocate them.
One of The Virgin Suicides's 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. It also boasts a solid soundtrack and good performances by both the fresh faces and the more recognisable names. Tragic, haunting, and sometimes darkly comedic, this movie leaves a strong impression in its telling of a story about the destruction of innocence.