The Virgin Suicides | Film Review


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A classic in the independent film genre, is it even possible to describe yourself as 'indie' if you've never watched The Virgin Suicides? Sofia Coppola brings to life Jeffrey Eugenides's 1993 novel in this now Tumblr coming-of-age cult-classic flick, starring a teenage Kirsten Dunst.
   Taking place in a quaint, but also narrow-minded, suburb of Michigan in the 70s, Lux Lisbon (Kirsten Dunst) and her other four sisters are all equally enigmatic beauties. The mystery that surrounds them confuses yet entices teenage boys living near them from left to right, who all spend their time trying to analyze and figure out the Lisbon sisters.

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The film opens with the perplexing and tragic suicide attempt of youngest sister, Cecilia (Hanna R. Hall), which shakes up the family. The usually totalitarian Lisbon parents, awkward math teacher Ronald (James Wood) and his strict wife (Kathleen Turner) make a startling decision: they decide to throw the girls a party to lighten Cecilia's spirits. This plan tragically backfires, as Cecilia commits suicide during the middle of the party. To remove the family from public eye, the Lisbon parents put their daughters on stricter rule.

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Bored and merely uninterested in the going-ons of the world, the new school year comes and goes. Lux begins to strike up a budding relationship with the rebellious school heartthrob, Trip Fontaine (Josh Hartnett). Trip falls desperately in love with Lux and tries to impress Mr. Lisbon for a chance to take Lux to the homecoming dance, which he successfully does. His friends take her other sisters in turn.

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But hey, what's a good coming-of-age movie without a few wrong mistakes here and there? After getting crowned homecoming queen and king, and downing peach schnapps, Lux and Trip sneak off to have sex on the football field. In a cruel turn of events, Trip abandons Lux on the field while she's asleep, resulting in her breaking curfew and the near insufferable consequences of Mr. and Mrs. Lisbon.

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Lux chooses this time to vent her frustration through having anonymous sexual encounters and smoking cigarettes on her roof. It's during this time the sisters take advantage of using the boys who worship them for help on how to escape.
   Anonymous postcards start showing up in the boys' mailboxes with messages on desires to travel and to escape—it's not as much of a mystery, like the Lisbon sisters, about from whom the postcards can be. On the night the boys appear to rescue the Lisbon sisters from their misery, they make a calamitous discovery: the tragic and unexplained suicide pact of the four sisters.
   In the end, the boys realize that the mystery of the Lisbon sisters is something that no one can possibly explain, and was taken to the grave with their suicides.

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If anyone is up to watch a movie that will trigger memories of wanting to rebel against parental units but also not wanting to get grounded, and simultaneously feeling the pain and love of being a teenager, The Virgin Suicides should definitely be loaded on your Netflix queue and ready to watch.

1 comment:

  1. EXCELLENT PIECE! Thank you for breaking down this story. I've watched the movie numerous times but never quite understood why they all decided to kill themselves. It was because of their strict parents, it must have been a huge burden to live under their expectations. I always thought mental illness had a role. Anyway, thank you for breaking it down.

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