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The Virgin Suicides

Year: 1999
Director: Sofia Coppola
Writer: Sofia Coppola
Cast: James Woods, Kathleen Turner, Kirsten Dunst, Josh Hartnett, Michael Pare, Scott Glenn, Danny DeVito
It's Inventing the Abbotts by way of Lost in Translation. Sophia Coppola doesn't throw herself behind just anything, but this film shares the signature style with the hit she's made of the Scarlett Johansson/Bill Murray indie darling.

The story is a fairly elastic concept. Four beautiful daughters (among them Kirsten Dunst as the fabulously named Lux) grow up under the care of strict Christian parents (James Woods and Kathleen Turner), and a band of local boys become obsessed with them after the youngest commits suicide.

It's never clear what Coppola the screenwriter is trying to say; is it a polemic against the inherent hypocrisy of the nuclear family; suburbia; or just a teen comedy/drama with a feminine spirit and a lot more feeling (and cinematography) than Meatballs or Zapped?

You're never sure who the movie's about, or what the circumstances are saying about that person or people. Characters wend in and out of the story (like Josh Hartnett as Lux' love interest) to no seeming consequence.

Beautifully made as a film, full of lush and loving direction that feels like the caress of a lover, but as a story, it leaves a lot to be desired.

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