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Overall Rating
3.65

Awesome: 29.49%
Worth A Look35.9%
Average: 14.74%
Pretty Bad: 9.62%
Total Crap: 10.26%

12 reviews, 84 user ratings



Virgin Suicides, The
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by Dennis Swennumson

"She was the still point of the turning world, man."
5 stars

“The Virgin Suicides” is a memory, a movie narrated by a man reflecting on events that took place in his adolescence and influenced the rest of his life. It’s about the obsession he and three friends had for the Lisbon girls, five sisters who seem to only possess empathy for each other. For these boys, every major element of growing up, including first love, lust and ultimately sorrow, came from knowing the Lisbon girls. “The Virgin Suicides” is a movie that completely immerses its viewer in its mysterious subject matter; we feel the narrator’s nostalgia, curiosity and unresolved grief with him as the film progresses. The film doesn’t attempt to rationalize teen suicide, it’s not what the movie is about, and it effectively allows us to identify with common, yet wholly unique teenage memories.

“The Virgin Suicides” doesn’t tiptoe around its darker core story elements, we know from the beginning of the film that the girls will be dead by its end. Most of its first act revolves around the attempts and suicide of the youngest sister, Cecelia. Everyone speculates, the media runs with it as the latest in an alarming trend of teen suicide throughout the country, apparently know one knew that teenagers were capable of such acts. “Obviously, doctor, you’ve never been a thirteen year-old girl,” Cecelia says to her doctor when he questions of her first attempt. It’s a statement filled with an ignorance that only adults understand. The neighborhood makes its assumptions and moves on, leaving the remaining sisters and their confidants to pick up the pieces for the rest of the film.

There is a lot of coming-of-age material found in the film; all of it is portrayed with authenticity and honesty. The Lisbon girls are known for living a very sheltered life under the watch of their parents perfectly played in both roles by James Woods and Kathleen Turner. At the persistence of the school stud, Trip Fontaine (Josh Hartnett) - who has taken a special liking to Lox (Kirsten Dunst), the girls are allowed to attend the homecoming dance. What follows for Lux is every transgression a teenage girl experiences crammed into one night, like sneaking away from the party to have a drink with Trip to abandoning the strict curfew all together. How the adult Trip describes what happened on the football field resonates with the exact emotion anyone feels after being in his position, “I liked her a lot, but on the football field, it was different.” Everything in this movie revolves around the lives of the Lisbon sisters, but the story is about the guys dealing with their obsessions and admiration for them.

What enhances the inherit gloom found in “The Virgin Suicides” is its dark humor and the production design; it’s a beautiful film to watch and truly admire. There are shots that spark the poignancy, like simple images of a setting sun glimmering through the leaves of a dying tree and a scene when Cecelia leaves her mark on the Lisbon property for what she hopes will be forever. Not only is innocence lost as the girls and guys grow older, its lost with the appeal of the neighborhood, the secrets people try to conceal eventually do come back to haunt them.

Sofia Coppola established high standards, even considering the legacy of her father, with this film. “The Virgin Suicides” is a consuming and haunting film, its images echoing in the memory long after viewing.

link directly to this review at https://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=3859&reviewer=338
originally posted: 07/29/04 13:27:06
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User Comments

10/10/17 Louise Superbly made and nicely understated, although a serious theme. 4 stars
9/13/17 morris campbell bleak but worth a look 3 stars
9/02/15 Brando James Woods as the father is the only compelling act in this movie. 2 stars
5/19/13 PAUL SHORTT COMPELLING, INTENSE DRAMA WITH SOME GOOD PERFORMANCES 3 stars
8/20/11 Rachel undeveloped characters and story. Ridiculous and crude. Not at all like the 70's I lived 1 stars
8/16/11 chris Poetic and kind of empty in some ways though why it got a R-rating is beyond me. 4 stars
3/20/11 Lab Rat Well, I think every woman having kids MUST see this, to know how NOT to raise them. 5 stars
7/17/10 brian Can Ribisi fail even when he's not on screen? No, he cannot. 4 stars
10/24/09 Jeff Wilder Visually poetic. 4 stars
8/28/09 Girl A really good movie 4 stars
5/19/09 Anonymous. anyone who liked this movie should read the book, it's even better. 4 stars
5/15/09 Matt absolutely horrid and detestable in every way. made me want to hang myself 1 stars
8/01/07 ravenmad this is a luv it/hate it pic: I loved it! 5 stars
5/14/07 fools♫gold What would later lead to greats like Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette. 7/10 4 stars
2/22/07 Beau wonderfully made film from 'coppola' and 'dunst and turner' are magnificent, very compellin 5 stars
12/06/06 criticalthinker It is critical to read the book before watching the film. 4 stars
11/27/06 William Goss Intimate, immediate, and haunting. 5 stars
9/23/06 David Pollastrini Sofia coppola directs much better than she acts 5 stars
3/04/06 omar one of the best movies ever. depressing but a good movie altogether 5 stars
8/17/05 ES blah, blah, blah, blah, blah =not worth the time or money 1 stars
4/27/05 movielover this movie is one of the best movies ever! 5 stars
4/24/05 sweetgrrl1972 Boring 1 stars
3/25/05 john h. wallace very depressiing yet lures you into wanting more 5 stars
1/28/05 gtsilver makes you wonder what your daughters are thinking 4 stars
1/16/05 Jeff Anderson A dreamy, perfectly acted, and totally accurate depiction of the 70's. SOFIA COPPOLA ROCKS! 5 stars
12/07/04 Felicia Matthews I really like this movie. It was well directed and had very talented actors 5 stars
7/25/04 Movieguy A great film 5 stars
7/21/04 dropdead beautiful movie, very endearing. 5 stars
6/16/04 Jeanne Beautifully shot, nice mood, but ultimately, no real point 3 stars
5/29/04 R.W. Welch Good cinematography but enigmatic and a bit draggy. 3 stars
3/28/04 lvlisty69 it was good to me is it true? 4 stars
1/30/04 Elena Amazing use of music; great acting; but story has holes in it... doesn't make sense 3 stars
1/27/04 Chloe Brody The title was decieving...the virgin suicides...hmmm 4 stars
1/10/04 your worst goddamn nightmare artsy, humorous, intelligent film... the narration reminded me of Goodfellas, hehe 5 stars
10/28/03 WestcoastPunk wow is all i hvae to say 5 stars
9/09/03 sneaker it's not enough to show sad pretty girls in "danger looming" atmosphere. Cheap. 3 stars
9/05/03 Darlene Groetz The movie in which Kirsten Dunst became a zombie of the tragic wands. 1 stars
4/29/03 Buko This movie has a magical feeling, and Kirsten is just wonderful 5 stars
4/20/03 Dillon Considering its the directors debut, pretty damn good. Great music, great Dunst & Josh too 4 stars
3/25/03 Jack Sommersby Curiously unmoving. 2 stars
3/13/03 kelley jewell its alright 3 stars
2/05/03 Kirsten Dunst fan in mourning I'd rather be sodomized by a gang of porcupines than have to play "Lux"!. 1 stars
1/15/03 dammitall this is the worst. only visuals worth it. 1 stars
11/28/02 Zack W. Young Beautiful and truly disturbing. 5 stars
8/31/02 Natalie Stonecipher Poor Kirsten Dunst - Is she wasted herein? Drawn and quartered is more like it. 1 stars
8/28/02 I Can't Swim Excellent in practically every way. A bit more insight into Mom & Dad would have been nice 4 stars
8/27/02 Phoenix I'm in love with Kirsten Dunst. 5 stars
6/22/02 Frances I love twisted films like this 5 stars
6/01/02 I'm in (L) with a Jedi I absolutely loved this film, very depressing, yet very entertaining 5 stars
5/16/02 Darlene Groetz The movie where Kirsten Dunst became a zombie of the tragic wands. 1 stars
4/29/02 Demure33 It has all the flavor of the 70s from a girl's perspective 4 stars
3/31/02 Elizaveta amazingly real 5 stars
3/06/02 Kirsten Dunst fan in mourning I'd rather be sodomized by a gang of porcupines than have to play "Lux". 1 stars
3/02/02 Nomargin Fantastically clautorphobic!! Ms. Coppola has a bright future ahead of her. 5 stars
2/03/02 Natalie Stonecipher Poor Kirsten Dunst - Is she wasted herein? Drawn and quartered is more like it. 1 stars
1/14/02 Tomper Lux was a virgin??? Barely stuck it out to the end. 3 stars
12/03/01 Kate Dull, missing lots o'details, unrealistic, under-dvlpd chrctrs, boring plot. Don't bother. 1 stars
11/30/01 Jeff Wilson Nice "collective" narration idea. Dunst before she made teen crap. nice movie, nice book 4 stars
9/17/01 Bri Yuck, avoid this garbage. 1 stars
9/08/01 country had to watch it for a college english course... i liked it, and the book is worth reading 4 stars
8/18/01 Dakamus "Sucks All Ass" is nowhere near the level of shittiness for this festering bag of poop. 1 stars
5/29/01 Basil I think it w 5 stars
4/01/01 Clarance FanFuckinTastic cinematography combined with a unique and thought provoking plot 4 stars
3/22/01 lickthestar Not as good as the book but few movies are I suppose. Still an excellent film. 5 stars
3/08/01 Mart Dawg GAyest, most boring movie i've seen in a while, IT WOULDNT FUCKING END!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
2/24/01 Marie completely unbeliavable. Huge plot holes. 3 stars
1/28/01 xy this movie was so awesome. i reccommend u watch it!!! 5 stars
1/07/01 kyle great soundtrack + lovely um, girls? woods very good 4 stars
12/17/00 perverted pixie Shades of "To Die For". Ethereal and enigmatic- who exactly was the narrator? 4 stars
10/18/00 elizabeth dreamy, ethereal, gooey like the lip gloss on kirsten dunst's lips 4 stars
10/06/00 JL Sofia's a lucky bitch. But also a fucking genious. I want a new daddy. Two thumbs way up!!! 5 stars
8/29/00 Viking Not a bad effort 4 stars
8/16/00 MIKE I AM IN SUCH LOVE WITH JOSH HARTNETT! WHAT A HOT GUY!!!!!! 5 stars
8/13/00 Belinda Yawn. 2 stars
6/25/00 skye chapman boring. trite. empty. simpleminded. obvious. stupid. annoying. is it only me? 1 stars
6/12/00 Lisa Odd movie, but kept my interest. Not enough info regarding the reasons for the suicides. 4 stars
5/30/00 Zatoichi Jones Dead sexy and dead creepy. 4 stars
5/19/00 Louis An OK movie. Kirsten Dunst is HOT! 3 stars
5/19/00 syd Coppola has a good eye for set design & costume design, but writing/directing needs work 3 stars
5/10/00 Stefano maybe failing in deeply exploring the teens' world, but it's poetic and touching 4 stars
5/07/00 PJ Great movie, great soundtrack, great acting, original, beautiful, just great 5 stars
4/27/00 Robert I Cruickshank The auto-comment says it all: worth a look. I liked the movie, despite its numerous holes. 4 stars
4/18/00 violetta Incredibly brilliant, touching, never conventional. 5 stars
4/17/00 Mairi Thomas Brilliantly evocative of 70's chilhood and barmy parents. Dreamy ultra-cool soundtrack. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  21-Apr-2000 (R)

UK
  N/A (15)

Australia
  10-Aug-2000 (MA)




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