A group of male friends become obsessed with five mysterious sisters who are sheltered by their strict, religious parents.
A very different movie, enjoyable and engrossing but at the end of it you are left wondering what the point was. Is there a moral here? A life lesson? Or is the movie just telling a quirky story? I'm still not sure. This movie is well acted and is never boring, but it is puzzling.
***Artistic, profound, amusing, tragic, haunting coming-of-age in the 70s*** A 13 year-old girl from a Catholic family in a Detroit suburb commits suicide during the late 70s and its effects are shown over the course of the next year in the lives of her four sisters (e.g. Kirsten Dunst), her parents (James Woods & Kathleen Turner) and the boys of the community. Josh Hartnett is on hand as the school stud who’s interested in Lux (Dunst). "The Virgin Suicides" (1999) was Sofia Coppola’s debut film based on the book by Jeffrey Eugenides; she would go on to great success with “Lost in Translation” (2003) and the underrated “Marie Antoinette” (2006). To be expected, Sofia’s style is similar to her father, as well as Peter Weir, but maybe more focused on feminine themes. The tone of the movie is artsy and deep, but not without a sense of humor. It’s haunting, mysterious, beautiful and impenetrable, reminiscent of Weir’s “Picnic at Hanging Rock” (1975). There’s also a great 70’s soundtrack featuring well-placed songs by The Hollies, Heart, Styx, Todd Rundgren and 10cc. The subtext on parental legalism brings to mind “Footloose” (1984), but it’s clear that the blame can’t be placed solely at the feet of the parents, who are certainly overprotective but also clearly loving to a degree. Cecilia’s rash actions are the catalyst and the domino effect comes into play coupled with the oppression of stifling legalism and perhaps passive revenge. At the end of the day, though, it comes down to just a stupid decision by teenagers. Yet the movie’s about way more than suicide and its causes. It’s about coming-of-age, seeking identity & a voice, coming-of-death and the haunting reflections of those that remain. The film runs 1 hour, 37 minutes and was shot in Toronto. GRADE: A-/B+