The Virgin Suicides


Directed by: Sofia Coppola
Written by:Sofia Coppola
Starring: James Woods, Kathleen Turner, Kirsten Dunst, Josh Hartnett, Hannah Hall
Released: August 10, 2000
Grade: C+

I originally saw this film at the Brisbane International Film Festival and was surprised to find people who found this film enjoyable.  Based upon the novel by  Jeffrey Eugenides, it’s one of those films where you’re better off having read the book before seeing the film.

It’s the story of the five Lisbon sisters - Cecilia, Lux, Bonnie, Mary and Therese.  Their parents keep a tight reign over the daughters allowing them little socialisation and other activities.  When Cecilia commits suicides, Mr and Mrs Lisbon are advised by a psychologist that the daughters need more influences than those they are currently limited to within the house.  They agree to allow the daughters to the school’s Homecoming Dance but the ramifications from that dance would change the path of all their lives.

The Virgin Suicides is the directorial debut of Sofia Coppola and it left little impression on me.  The film is an attempt to create some art-house cult movie through its darkness and controversial subtext but the end product is boring.  The performances were one of the few strengths to shine with James Woods and Kathleen Turner particularly good as the two parents.

From the viewpoints of others, my best recommendation is if you’re interested in this, read the novel.  If you haven’t, take your chances but be prepared for disappointment.  An underwhelming view.