Plot – A group of male friends become obsessed with five mysterious sisters who are sheltered by their strict, religious parents in suburban Detroit in the mid-1970s – The Virgin Suicides.
Director – Sofia Coppola
Released – 1999
My first thought after watching The Virgin Suicides is just how disappointed I was. It’s beautifully made filled with wonderfully directed sequences and boasting a talented cast, but is let down by storytelling that doesn’t always make sense and a script that favours style over substance.
Sadly, it’s not always clear what the movie is trying to say or where it’s heading, which is mainly down to poor character development. More than once, you’re introduced to characters who they lead you to believe will be an important part of the plot, only for them to disappear from the story entirely, making you wonder what the point was in their inclusion. Additionally, the story suffers from a frustrating conclusion that although may work in the novel they base the film on, here it leaves you feeling unsatisfied, which in turn, makes you wonder what the point of telling the story was and what the narrator hoped you would get out of hearing it.
As mentioned earlier, mostly the cast is solid, Kirsten Dunst, Josh Hartnett and Hayden Christensen were charismatic, showing glimpses of the stars they would eventually become, while cameos from Danny DeVito and Scott Glenn would sprinkle to film with some stardust, let down only by poor writing and a plot that choose to jump from character to character rather than focusing on one or two.
Overall, The Virgin Suicides is a beautiful looking and well-directed movie that seemingly forgets what story it wants to tell and what its message is. That said, it’s worth watching at least once for the acting, stunning visuals and interesting soundtrack.
If you liked: American Beauty, Lost in Translation, Donnie Darko