DIY Cannes 2013: The Virgin Suicides

the-virgin-suicides-kirsten-dunst-188910_1020_576To stave off the depression of not being at Cannes while everyone I follow on Twitter gabs about their new favorite discoveries, I’ve decided to take the opportunity and hold my own film festival. Every night, I’m going to watch a movie I haven’t seen by one of the director’s debuting on the Croisette. Thanks to the power of Netflix, so many foreign movies and older auteur classics are available for Instant Streaming. Who knows what discoveries I might find along the way?

Movie #6: The Virgin Suicides

Director: Sofia Coppola

Her Cannes 2013 Movie: The Bling Ring

I feel like I’m starting all of these mini reviews with a confession, but I need to confess something. The only movie I’ve ever walked out of the theater during was Marie Antoinette and I have no affection for Lost in Translation. I pretty much forced myself to start watching The Virgin Suicides, even though I was expecting it to be Melancholia: The Teenage Years.

Then it turned out to be freaking delightful. This is not a movie about sad rich people. It’s only about sad people.

When the youngest of five daughters takes her own life during an incredibly awkward party, her family spins just so slightly out of control. The four daughters are led by the magnetic Kirsten Dunst as Lux. She is only 14, but Lux has the bad girl attitude of someone far beyond her years. Girls just wanna have fun, right?

Coppola is the real star of this movie though. She makes a beautiful statement as a director, especially one distinctly different than her father. Every scene not only has a teen nostalgia not seen since John Hughes, but also has a slightly dark sinister edge. As an audience, you never truly learn who these girls are or what their motives are. But that’s part of the mystery.

I’m certainly still unraveling my thoughts on this movie a day later. Why did these girls kill themselves? Isolation? Exposure to bad influences? Lack of exposure to bad influences? Their loving, but kooky parents? I’d rather not know, but Coppola gives you enough food for thought along the way.

The cast across the board is top notch. I always forget how much I love James Woods, Josh Hartnett is the pinnacle of weird ’90s attraction, and Kathleen Turner does not get enough work. The soundtrack is incredible, pulsing with teen angst and hope for adulthood. But while these girls probably can’t wait to be adults, the boys who are tracking them just want to be kids again. Relive those mysteries. So maybe I’ll let this mystery sit and re-live the magic later down the road.


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