The Virgin Suicides (1999)
97min., United States
“No space for coming-of-age”
The five beautiful Lisbon sisters grow up in the middle class suburbs of 70s’ Michigan under the strict yoke of their religious parents. The humid summer heat is like a metaphor for the claustrophobic atmosphere in their home, as their parents are terrified to see the girls turning into women.
Lux Lisbon (Kirsten Dunst), the second youngest, is the most rebellious, experimenting with drinks and smokes and exploring her sexuality in grass fields and on the rooftops. But when the youngest sister, Cecilia (Hanna R. Hall), commits suicide the sisters are locked up in the house and isolated from the world. The story of the Lisbon sisters is narrated by a male voice that speaks of ‘we’ referring to the neighborhood boys, all of whom are fascinated by the sisters and try to learn what drove them to the tragedy that occurred.
The Virgin Suicides is Sophia Coppola’s first feature film. She adopted it from the – also debut – novel by Jeffrey Eugenides and she wrote the script as an exercise when she was seventeen years old. To us The Virgin Suicides is her best work up until today. It has a unique look, Kisten Dunst is a superstar you can’t take your eyes off and the soundtrack by Air is incredible. Obscure as the story may be, this drama comes closest to what we believe teenage hood was: dreamily yet deathly.