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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A haunting film that pales in comparison to the novel
Having read Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides, easily one of the most remarkable, haunting novels ever written, I would have said it was impossible to adapt the story to film - and, to some degree, I would have been right. Still, this film adaptation does as fine as job as is humanly possible to bring the ethereal Lisbon girls and the boys obsessed with them and...
Published on 31 Dec 2005 by Daniel Jolley

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
I found this so ridiculously boring i was expecting something like girl,interrupted but was disappointed. Having suffered from depression since i was 14 i expected some kind of insight but didn't get it with this film, it seemed to drag on and the conclusion came out of nowhere.
Published 10 months ago by M. Wilson


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A haunting film that pales in comparison to the novel, 31 Dec 2005
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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Having read Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides, easily one of the most remarkable, haunting novels ever written, I would have said it was impossible to adapt the story to film - and, to some degree, I would have been right. Still, this film adaptation does as fine as job as is humanly possible to bring the ethereal Lisbon girls and the boys obsessed with them and their tragedy to life. It's an excellent, convoluted movie that defies convention and embraces the mystery of the tragedy, but believe me when I say that anyone remotely interested in this movie simply must read the original novel. This movie offers just the first taste of a surreal and tragic story that haunts the reader as much as the suicides haunt the lives of the boys still trying to understand the mystery of the Lisbon girls they adored in ways they could never have put into words. The true magic of the story isn't the sequence of tragic events that unfold; it's the indescribable, impenetrable, unseen world the girls lived in.
The novel tells the story from the outside looking in, through the eyes of the neighborhood boys who obsessed over the Lisbon girls, dreamed about them, and sought some form of access to their haunting inner world. The girls themselves were ethereal creatures spotted only sporadically, surreal ghosts of the lively, vibrant girls they should have been. A movie could never recreate such an abstract viewpoint - the only possible way to do it is to take us into the Lisbon house from the very start. We see what takes places within those walls, watch the interactions of the girls with their parents and one another, and that obviously takes away from some of the mystery inherent in the novel. Even still, we don't get to know the girls as well as we do in the novel. Only two stand out - Constance and Lux, while the other three are simply there, impossible to call by name or recognize by individual nature. That's the main weakness of this otherwise fine adaptation. There's a rushed sort of feeling to the story, and we really needed more time to know and understand Bonnie, Mary, and Therese.
Kirsten Dunst was a perfect choice to play the sensual free spirit that is Lux, while Hanna R. Hall is wonderful as the enigmatic Cecilia, the real lynchpin for the entire story. The film, quickly launching into the traumatic events of the story, doesn't really give us enough time to really see who Cecilia is, and that robs it of some of its heart-touching power, I'm afraid. James Woods plays the subdued role of Mr. Lisbon brilliantly, but Kathleen Turner just never really seemed to capture Mrs. Lisbon successfully enough for me. Then there's Josh Hartnett - not my favorite actor - in full 70s regalia. His character is an important link to Lux, but I think he gets too much time in the movie, to the point that it takes away from the true vision of the other boys' obsession with the girls. The conclusion, on the other hand, feels much too rushed. It's a dark and shocking scene that almost seems to happen in slow motion in the novel, but in the film it all happens so fast that you don't really have sufficient time to digest it. None of these things are a problem for those familiar with Eugenides' novel, but viewers who haven't read the book just won't get the full effect of the tragedy, I'm afraid.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sofia's freshmen project is to be commended, 29 Jun 2007
By 
A lot viewer's know that Sofia Coppola is not much of a great actress, but she seems to have inherited some of her father's talents in this film. Coppola knows how to get the best from her actors and a few "coming of age" films have the sensual, dream-like quality as this 1974 look at upper middle class American suburbia.

Written and directed by her, this mesmerizing account of adolescent sexual socialization (set in the posh suburbs of 1974 Detroit) has a bittersweet quality, yet is tragic as well. A group of young teenage boys come into contact with five bewitchingly beautiful teenage sisters in their affluent neighborhood. Each savor the short time they have with these girls, who are extremely overprotected by their devout Catholic parents (Woods and Turner).

Humorous, sensual, and highly evocative of "boy-meets-girl awkwardness" as seen through the boys' eyes, this film is a tribute to an American way of life not unlike "American Beauty". However, the dreaminess comes to an abrupt end... an "awakening", if you will... by the boys as they come to grips with a tragedy they are barely able to comprehend Sofia Coppola is an immensely talented filmmaker. She recreates the 70's era effortlessly, and allows the characters to all be real people instead of mere thumbnail sketches.

While this movie might lack a standard plot structure it succeeds dramatically in capturing the mood and feel of a certain generation. Obviously this movie will speak loudest to those who experience adolescence in the seventies but it also communicates strongly to all people recollecting that period of their lives. The great tragedy imparted in this movie is that of young beauty extinguished and the fruitless search to discover how this crime against nature could have occurred.

The cinematography is beautiful, never distracting but always full of genuinely real images, which served to offset the hallucination tone of the movie. There is a relaxed pace to the film, and I was drawn into the hazy, misty memories that make up the bulk of the story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars tragic telling of the sheltred anguish upon troubled sisters, 31 Jan 2001
this story is not like any before, suicide has been a sheltered topic that lurks its deathly existance throughout are troubled world. yet this brave tale confronts the perplexing mystery that sinks throughout our subconcious and disturbs our mind against the heinous reality, of the troubled teen who out of a misery who most could never comprehend takeing their young life. Understanding this story is a noble task, you either can't, or are better of not, yet there is a precious fascination, that mystifies you and consumes your attention, and you are spellbound, by the magic it projects upon you. this story is for all the young adolescent teens who consider their parents to sheltering. A hell that can suck, your spirit. At first it seems ridiculous in the reasons, but you finally after watching this disturbed gem realise, that they had no other choice, apart to take their life. A tragic jewl, through despiration, innocence and the corrupted obsession, of schoolboys fantasies. but the saddest part of this film is even thought they dissapear from this world, their deaths will stay with you and in a crazy way you can sympathise.Tragic, tainted, precious.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars words cannot express the beauty..., 13 Aug 2003
...of this film. Being a teenager, i can understand how my review may not be helpful in convincing you to buy this. But hear me out anyway. Firstly, who watches the credits all the way through on movies? very few i'd imagine. This was the first movie that i watched all the credits for, simply because i couldn't move, it was one of the purest, most beautiful and unapologetic films i have ever seen in my life.
In a similar way to American Beauty and Pulp Fiction, the film isn't really about anything in terms of epic story, but is simply about the lives of the characters, and their emotions (anyone who says that human lives have a plot is obviously lying) and thus touches you all the more through its lack of story in the traditional sense.
I do apologise but i must cut my review short as someone else neeeds to use the phone line. Buy this film people, it is all i can say.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Haunting and powerful, but not for the light-hearted., 23 Feb 2006
By A Customer
I have just seen this film and, having seen some of the comments, wanted to say what I thought.
I completely disagree that following the actions of the boys creates too much distance between you and the girls. Is that not the point? The girls are supposed to be mysterious and there would be no mystery without that distance. It's madening that you don't know more about them, but that's where the power lies in the storyline. We are seeing them as everyone else does - not just the boys. And I think the film does this well. You get empathy with the boys and other onlookers. What would be the point in a storyline where the girls are supposed to be enigmatic but we know all about them?
Also, I think to cover it from this onlookers viewpoint is an original and fresh way of telling a story.
I will have to reserve judgement on how it compares to the book until I have read the book too though!
This is definitely worth seeing and I think has a strongly shocking edge in its lead up to the inevitable.
Also, I don't think Lux died of a broken heart from Trip but, along with the other girls in their own ways, died of a broken spirit so that they all wandered round like ghosts in the house before actually completing the act. I think the film implies they died because they had the life crushed from them by their parents but also from life/their neighbourhood/people prying on them as they almost aren't worldly. Hence why the boys are amazed that Mr and Mrs Lisbon have had such stunning and almost angel-like daughters.
The music's good for this - Air and some 70s cheese mixed in.
The ending is a bit shocking though and stays with you - be warned! Probably avoid this film if you don't like 'unfinished endings'.
I just wish the DVD had some chats with the cast to see what they thought about the story and how they handled it - would have made very interesting viewing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beauty on a disc, 12 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This film is a closely guarded secret and one i was sorry to miss at the cinema, as it was only on limited release in the uk. However I am now the proud owner of this film and all the beauty it holds. This directorial debut from Sofia Coppola sets a mood that will chill you and delight you in the same scene. The combination of a great soundtrack (compliments of french band AIR) and the breathtaking screen presence of Kirsten Dunst will have you glued to your sofa.
A great film acted in a delicate yet powerful way, which will sit very comfortably in your collection I am sure.
A must for people who appreciate good film.
My only gripe is that the extras are poor. I see the US version has a 'making of' and a music video. And they wonder why those of us lucky enough to have a multi-region player, buy from the states. A little disapointment from a wonderful disc.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth seeing..., 12 Nov 2003
By 
S. Kendall (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I saw this film a few months ago, and at the time although I was impressed, I wouldn't have said it was a brilliant film. However, I have found it very hard to forget. Some of the images and ideas have haunted my imagination like no other film has done. For that reason alone I would recommend this to anyone. Unsurprisingly it is not a feel-good movie, but it is deeply thought provoking, very beautiful, and not as depressing as the title might suggest.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Haunting !, 10 Jun 2010
By 
mummy spoon (South Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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I definately liked this film and I'm glad I bought it, but I did feel a little confused and bewildered when it had finished.
I'm not going to reveal the story but the title pretty much says it all.
We see the story of five teenage sisters tragic lives unfold and hear from confused friends who witnessed it.
Virgin Suicides has a very haunting feel to it, it's almost like a dream, and as I said, though I enjoyed it, the ending was very abrupt and didn't feel like a proper conclusion, it reminded me of one of those odd little short films that are very arty and nice to watch but have no real point to them.
So if you like these type of indie films and don't mind not knowing everything then it's great but if you prefer the typical Hollywood fodder which is all neatly wrapped up at the end then this one might frustrate you .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a truely beautiful film, 14 May 2005
After I read the book I thought there was no way there could be a decent film version of it, so thought it would probably be a bad idea to see the film. That was until I knew Sofia Coppola was directing it, and, after being entranced by Lost in Translation, I figured this film could be just as good. And I was right. Ms. Coppola stays entirely true to the book (quite unusual for that to happen) and makes a hypnotic, artsy film of the case study of the 5 Lisbon sisters who commit suicide. It manages to bring a message to the screen, and leaves the watcher in mourning of the beautiful sisters. Not so much depressing as it is softening.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The trees, like lungs, filling with air, 28 Aug 2001
By 
B. Gough (UK) - See all my reviews
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This film is rather beautiful and an excellent adapation from the book, although the ending could have been more powerful. There were significant changes in the transition from paper to film, although it's easy to see why those changes were made. You fall in love with the Lisbon sisters. Anyone who has ever closed their eyes and wished on a star will be able to relate to this movie. Dream-like and, in parts, quite surreal, The Virgin Suicides is a haunting, poignant, touching and magnificent movie.
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