“The Virgin Suicides” (1999) Review


The Virgin Suicides (1999) by Sofia Coppola is a 1970’s suburban tragedy of longing, lust, and misconception. The five young Lisbon sisters are trapped within the strict and religious walls of their own home. The outside world is constantly peeking and prying at the mystery of the family. Among these are five teenage boys from the neighborhood with a particularly strong obsession. The girls are beyond the reach of the boys, yet they still admire and lust over their beauty and unattainability. And because the sisters are never understood past the assumptions and rumors surrounding their lives, a fate catches up to girls.

Coppola’s plot and attention to detail tell the unspoken truths of girlhood, of sisterhood, and of femininity. As much of each of the girls are desired, the minute they become anything besides perfect and fantastic in so many ways, the boys loose the illusion and in turn, the desire. As a film, it breaks into a world that has never been seen in such a honest and realistic light.

The casting is beyond well done, considering the delicacy of the story. Kristen Dunst is 14 year old Lux, the “boldest” and most “rebellious” of the Lisbon girls. Kathleen Turner is Mrs. Lisbon, the conservative mother with endless love for her daughters, who sexualizes and villainizes the lives of the teen girls.

Overall, I would rate The Virgin Suicides a 9/10. It is groundbreaking for mental health and the understanding of femininity for the 20th century film industry.