The Virgin Suicides Reviews
The story revolves around the Lisbon family which is composed by an overprotective and highly religious mother, a dorky father and five daughters (with their age range being from 13 to 17 years old). One day Cecilia, the youngest of the daughters, commits suicide for mysterious reasons so the entire neighborhood is focused on the family.
With a title like that this film falls into the category of 'depressive films' (like "Requiem for a Dream") but regardless of the subject matter´s nature you have to admit that Sofia Coppola´s debut is a confident one. "The Virgin Suicides" has solid performances with the obvious highlight being Dunst, the pacing is 100% centered in buildup and it fulfills this task wonderfully, the camerawork is solid, confident and it knows how to provide information to the viewer, an ending that is more than predictable (I mean it is in the film´s name for Christ Sake) and flirts with pretentious territory but is executed carefully (for obvious reasons) and that execution is worth all the buildup, and while the story isn't as well written as they want you to think it is still intriguing to watch the progression of the girls. However despite the things this film gets right, the characters lack any character trait whatsoever (they aren't even in stereotypes levels) so there is no emotional investment in the story. But my main issue with this film is ironically Sofia´s directing as it goes for the lowest common denominator. Sure she provides some solid camerawork but regardless I find it girlish and too literal, I mean the color have pastel look to them but as the film progresses they get more and more muted (so you won't miss the fact that the story is getting to its dark conclusion), the way she photographed the Lisbon girls (specially Kristen Dunst) is so dreamy like (I get that they are supposed to be the hottest girls of the neighborhood but that would be made clear if the script was better) and her painfully literal use of music (don't get me wrong I like most of the songs inhere but the decision to include them is just dumb. ´Look, this is the popular cool guy so let's play Heart´s "Magic Man" in his introduction scene´ or ´This scene where the characters are falling in love is a little too subtle, what if we play Heart's "Crazy on You" on top of it?´) with the exception of one scene where is actually needed for story reasons.
"The Virgin Suicides" is a confident debut for Sofia Coppola as it is moody and well crafted, but its hollow and bland characters take away any emotional impact and I have already complained about her directorial choices (which I know are her trademarks but I still don't like them). A film that's more focused on making a statement on its subject matter rather than telling a compelling story.