7.2/10
115,228
520 user 152 critic

The Virgin Suicides (1999)

R | | Drama, Romance | 19 May 2000 (USA)
A group of male friends become obsessed with five mysterious sisters who are sheltered by their strict, religious parents.

Director:

Writers:

(novel),
Reviews
Popularity
1,576 ( 16)

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

ON DISC
3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Based on writer Susanna Kaysen's account of her 18-month stay at a mental hospital in the 1960s.

Director: James Mangold
Stars: Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie, Clea DuVall
Thirteen (2003)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A thirteen-year-old girl's relationship with her mother is put to the test as she discovers drugs, sex, and petty crime in the company of her cool but troubled best friend.

Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Stars: Evan Rachel Wood, Holly Hunter, Nikki Reed
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The retelling of France's iconic but ill-fated queen, Marie Antoinette. From her betrothal and marriage to Louis XVI at 15 to her reign as queen at 19 and to the end of her reign as queen and ultimately the fall of Versailles.

Director: Sofia Coppola
Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Jason Schwartzman, Rip Torn
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A faded movie star and a neglected young woman form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo.

Director: Sofia Coppola
Stars: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi
The Dreamers (2003)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young American studying in Paris in 1968 strikes up a friendship with a French brother and sister. Set against the background of the '68 Paris student riots.

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
Stars: Michael Pitt, Louis Garrel, Eva Green
Ghost World (2001)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

With only the plan of moving in together after high school, two unusually devious friends seek direction in life. As a mere gag, they respond to a man's newspaper ad for a date, only to find it will greatly complicate their lives.

Director: Terry Zwigoff
Stars: Steve Buscemi, Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Inspired by actual events, a group of fame-obsessed teenagers use the internet to track celebrities' whereabouts in order to rob their homes.

Director: Sofia Coppola
Stars: Katie Chang, Israel Broussard, Emma Watson
Heathers (1988)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In order to get out of the snobby clique that is destroying her good-girl reputation, an intelligent teen teams up with a dark sociopath in a plot to kill the cool kids.

Director: Michael Lehmann
Stars: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty
Juno (2007)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Faced with an unplanned pregnancy, an offbeat young woman makes an unusual decision regarding her unborn child.

Director: Jason Reitman
Stars: Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner
Somewhere (2010)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After withdrawing to the Chateau Marmont, a passionless Hollywood actor reexamines his life when his eleven-year-old daughter surprises him with a visit.

Director: Sofia Coppola
Stars: Stephen Dorff, Elle Fanning, Chris Pontius
Kids (1995)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A day in the life of a group of teens as they travel around New York City skating, drinking, smoking, and deflowering virgins.

Director: Larry Clark
Stars: Leo Fitzpatrick, Justin Pierce, Chloë Sevigny
Melancholia (2011)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Two sisters find their already strained relationship challenged as a mysterious new planet threatens to collide with Earth.

Director: Lars von Trier
Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Adult Trip Fontaine (as Michael Pare)
...
...
...
...
Leslie Hayman ...
...
Anthony DeSimone ...
Chase Buell (as Anthony Desimone)
Lee Kagan ...
...
Noah Shebib ...
Edit

Storyline

A man about forty years of age tells the story from when he was a teenager in upscale suburban Detroit of his and three of his friends' fascination with the mysterious and doomed Lisbon sisters. In 1974, the sisters were seventeen year old Therese, sixteen year old Mary, fifteen year old Bonnie, fourteen year old Lux, and thirteen year old Cecilia. Their fascination still remains as they try to piece together the entire story. The sisters were mysteries if only because of having a strict and overprotective upbringing by their father, who taught math at the girls' private co-ed school, and overly devout Catholic mother, who largely dictated the household rules. The story focuses primarily on two incidents and the resulting situations on the girls' lives. The first was an action by Cecilia to deal with her emotions over her life. And the second was the relationship between Lux - the sister who pushed the boundaries of the household rules most overtly in doing what most teenagers want to... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Beautiful, mysterious, haunting, invariably fatal. Just like life. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong thematic elements involving teens | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 May 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sofia Coppola's the Virgin Suicides  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$235,122 (USA) (21 April 2000)

Gross:

$4,859,475 (USA) (25 August 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Sofia Coppola played Kathleen Turner's little sister in Peggy Sue Got Married (1986) directed by her father, Francis Ford Coppola. Sofia then directed Turner in this. See more »

Goofs

When Trip is pinning the flowers on Lux's dress, the camera pans down to her hips and a round 'inset' window appears, revealing that Lux is wearing pink panties under her dress, with Trip's name scrawled on them. The brief shot also shows part of her bare thighs and tummy. Yet when Lux is making out on the grass with Trip, we can see she's wearing white pantyhose (or tights) under her dress. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: So much has been said about the girls over the years. But we have never found an answer. It didn't matter in the end how old they had been, or that they were girls... but only that we had loved them... and that they hadn't heard us calling... still do not hear us calling them from out of those rooms... where they went to be alone for all time... and where we will never find the pieces to put them back together.
See more »

Connections

References Carrie (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Ce Matin La
Written by Jean-Benoît Dunckel (as Jean Benoit Dunckel), Nicolas Godin (as Nicholoas Godin) and Patrick Woodcock (as P. Woodcock)
Performed by Air (French Band)
Courtesy of Astralwerks Records
Under Exclusive License from Source Records
Published by Revolvair, S.R.L.
Administered by MCA Music Ltd and Music Corporation of America
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Captures the Dark Comedy and Lyric Poetry of the Book
31 January 2001 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

I'm uncertain why the daughter of a Hollywood icon would select as her first director effort a nearly unfilmable book of linguistic time bombs and nearly unspeakable tragedy. Jeffrey Eugenides's book The Virgin Suicides is one of the underappreciated gems of the 1990s and surely Sophia Coppola must have known that the critics would have it out for anything she did (see reviews listed under "acting: Part 3, The Godfather"). So Coppola, daughter of Francis Ford, decided to do something unexpected: She made a gem of a movie that's easy to like and complex enough to savour.

Taking place "25 years ago" in "Michigan," The Virgin Suicides tells the story of a group of teenage boys and the Lisbon sisters, whose suicides changed them forever. The book is told with a rather unique choral narrator (the entire story is in the first person plural) which makes it clear that the focus of the story is not the Lisbons, but the boys and their attempts to restructure the events of what must have been their final summer of innocence. Similarly, the film features extensive voice-overs, culled from the book, coming from an unidentified member (or members) of the gang. You might wonder why you're never able to distinguish between any of the four or five or six males who wander through the story, or why at least several of the Lisbon girls also blend together, but rest assured it's intentional. The Virgin Suicides is very much about a baffled collective.

The movie begins with the first suicide attempt of the youngest Lisbon girl. When the doctor examining her asks why should would try to kill herself she offers the simple response, "Obviously, Doctor, you have never been a thirteen year old girl." The book and film are both really about men and how incapable we are of understand what it's like to be a thirteen year old girl or a thirty year old woman or really anything in between. And what's even more frustrating is the fact that women seem to understand men so devastatingly well (a trait perfectly personified in Kirsten Dunst's portrayal of middle sister Lux). The narrative such as it is marches inexorably through the gradual awakening of the narrators and the inevitable realization that they never knew anything.

Coppola, who also adapted the screenplay, makes decent use of the book's two metaphorical subplots -- an outbreak of Dutch Elm Disease and a cemetery worker's strike. The rot of suburban life lies at the core of this story and Coppola wisely never overplays her hand. She loves using mythic imagery, generally revolving around Dunst, an actress beginning to produce the kind of resume that speaks of longevity. Coppola's background in costuming is also evident, displaying the decadence and tackiness of the observing characters, contrasted with the spare Puritainism of the Lisbons.

Coppola gets mostly good performances from the young generation of her cast. As the only two characters to get individual notice, Dunst and Josh Hartnett do excellent work. She's the animal core of the film and he perfectly captures the perplexed, corrupted purity of the male side of the story. Playing against type, James Woods is excellent as the Lisbon's introverted henpecked father and Kathleen Turner is effectively scary as their domineering mother.

The film is also aided by some wonderful technical work including Jasna Stefanovic's nostalgic, but never cutesy production design and Edward Lachman's versatile cinematography. The soundtrack by the French band Air is also notable, mixed with various hit songs from the period.

The Virgin Suicides has perhaps too many moments of whimsy, where it seems too devoted to its source, even when the material doesn't translate properly. But still, it's the moments of magic -- the Lisbon girls prom, an eerie family party, and phone conversation spoken only with records -- that stand out. I'd give this one an 8/10.


200 of 226 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why did Lux asked the boys to come in to the house? ds1313
What the heck is this movie about? poxy65
Better book than movie? JessieWalsh
most emotionally haunting films jguyton85
Trip and Lux mohneyyy
How old were you when you first saw this film? Hyperviolet
Discuss The Virgin Suicides (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page