As coincidence would have it (or was it pure coincidence?), both Sam Mendes and Sofia Coppola made their respective feature film direction debuts in the same year, with Y2K fever raging in full throttle, with dark suburban dramas repudiating the American Dream – American Beautyand The Virgin Suicides, respectively. The latter film, directed by the great Francis Ford Coppola’s daughter, is a disturbing yet emotionally affecting tale of teenage alienation, repression, rebelliousness and insecurity; in other words, this is the polar opposite of the kind of inane teenage (or, chick) flicks that American producers like to flood the market with. The film begins, on a year in the 1970’s, with 13-year old Cecilia, the suicidal youngest daughter of the Lisbon family, taking her life on her second attempt. And that sets in motion a self-destructive chain reaction whose repercussions result, approximately a year later, in the mass-suicide of her four older sisters at the film’s shocking climax. Told through the voice of one of the four young boys infatuated with the girls, the film is filled with a deep sense of nostalgia and melancholy throughout its smoothly paced length. The acting is first rate, with the then-young Kirsten Dunst providing a frighteningly matured performance as the promiscuous but inwardly fragile Lux, the youngest among the four remaining sisters.
Director: Sofia Coppola Genre: Drama/Coming-of-Age Language: English Country: US