The Virgin Suicides (film)

The Virgin Suicides (film)

Infobox_Film
name = The Virgin Suicides


director = Sofia Coppola
producer = Francis Ford Coppola
Julie Costanzo
Dan Halsted
Chris Hanley
writer = Jeffrey Eugenides (novel)
Sofia Coppola
starring = James Woods
Kathleen Turner
Kirsten Dunst
Josh Hartnett
music = Air
cinematography = Edward Lachman
editing = Melissa Kent
James Lyons
runtime = 97 min.
country = USA
language = English
distributor = Paramount Classics
released = USA
May 12, 2000
UK
May 19, 2000
HKG
October 19, 2000
budget = $6,000,000 [ [http://imdb.com/title/tt0159097/business Business Data for "The Virgin Suicides"] from IMDb]
gross = $4,859,475
imdb_id = 0159097

"The Virgin Suicides" is a 1999 American film written and directed by Sofia Coppola, starring James Woods, Kathleen Turner, Kirsten Dunst and Josh Hartnett. Based on the novel by Jeffrey Eugenides, the film tells of the suicides of the five Lisbon sisters in an upper middle class suburb of Detroit during the 1970s. The girls’ suicides fascinate their community as their neighbors struggle to find an explanation for the acts.

Plot outline

The story takes place in Grosse Pointe, Michigan in the 1970s, as four neighbourhood boys reflect on their neighbours, the five Lisbon sisters. Beautiful but strictly unattainable due to their overprotective, isolating parents, Therese, Mary, Bonnie, Lux, and Cecilia Lisbon are the enigmas that fill the boys' dreams.

The film begins with the suicide attempt of the youngest sister, Cecilia, and the immediate aftermath. During a chaperoned party that summer - intended to make Cecilia feel better - Cecilia excuses herself mid-party and finally succeeds in taking her life by jumping out of her bedroom window and impaling herself on an iron fence. In the wake of her act, the Lisbon family isolate themselves even more within their community, heightening the sense of mystery about them.

The new school year starts that fall and Lux, the most promiscuous of the Lisbon sisters, forms a secret relationship with Trip Fontaine, the school heartthrob. Trip eventually persuades Mr. Lisbon to allow him to take Lux to the Homecoming dance (by promising to find dates for the other sisters and go as a group). After being crowned Homecoming King and Queen, Lux and Trip have sex on the football field that night. Trip abandons her immediately afterwards.

Having broken curfew, Lux and her sisters are punished by a furious Mrs. Lisbon by being taken out of school and sequestered within their house indefinitely. Unable to leave their home, the Lisbon sisters contact the boys using light signals, and share songs over the phone as a means of communicating their emotions back and forth.

During this time, Lux begins to have anonymous sexual encounters on the roof of the house late at night, while the boys watch from across the street. Finally, after months of confinement, the Lisbon girls signal for the boys to come over one night - presumably to help them escape from the house. When the boys arrive, they find Lux smoking a cigarette alone in the living room. She invites them inside to wait for her sisters, while she herself goes to wait in the car.

The boys wander into the basement and discover a body hanging from the ceiling; terrified, they rush back out of the house. In the process, they stumble across the bodies of the remaining Lisbon sisters, who had all killed themselves in an apparent suicide pact moments before: Therese took sleeping pills, Bonnie hung herself in the basement, Mary stuck her head in the gas oven, and Lux died of carbon monoxide poisoning by leaving the car engine running in the garage.

Devastated by the suicides of all their children, Mr. and Mrs. Lisbon quietly flee the neighbourhood, never to return. The Lisbon house is sold soon after, along with all their personal belongings, while their neighbours - unsure of how to act - go about their lives as if nothing important really happened. The boys, however, find themselves unable to forget about the Lisbon sisters. They spend the rest of their lives reviewing the Lisbon girls' deaths, and the sequence of events over and over ... only to realize that the mystery of the girls is never to be solved, and the Lisbons will haunt them forever.

Cast

* James Woods as Ronald Lisbon
* Kathleen Turner as Sara Lisbon
* Kirsten Dunst as Lux Lisbon
* Josh Hartnett as Trip Fontaine (teenager)
* Michael Paré as Trip Fontaine (adult)
* A.J. Cook as Mary Lisbon
* Hanna R. Hall as Cecilia Lisbon
* Leslie Hayman as Therese Lisbon ["The Virgin Suicides" is Hayman's only film credit. She is a long time friend of the director, Sofia Coppola, and was given a part in the movie for this reason. She can also be seen in The Flaming Lips' promo for "This Here Giraffe" which was also directed by Coppola.]
* Chelse Swain as Bonnie Lisbon
* Scott Glenn as Father Moody
* Danny DeVito as Dr. E. M. Horniker
* Anthony DeSimone as Chase Buell
* Lee Kagan as David Barker ["The Virgin Suicides" is Kagan's only film credit.]
* Robert Schwartzman as Paul Baldino
* Noah Shebib as Parkie Denton
* Jonathan Tucker as Tim Weiner
* Hayden Christensen as Joe Hill Conley
* Giovanni Ribisi as the Narrator

Score and soundtrack

The film's score featured two tracks by the French electronic band Air, including "Playground Love". The film soundtrack featured songs by 1970s-era performers and by (90's) Sloan. A separate soundtrack album was released, featuring music from Heart and Todd Rundgren.

Mentioned in the credits (chronologically):
* "On the Horizon" by Sloan (album "Navy Blues", 1998)
* "Can't Face Up" (credited "How many times") by Sloan ("One Chord to Another", 1996)
* "The Air That I Breathe" by The Hollies ("Hollies", 1974)
* "Magic Man" by Heart ("Dreamboat Annie", 1976)
* "Crazy on You" by Heart ("Dreamboat Annie", 1976)
* "Strange Magic" by Electric Light Orchestra ("Face the Music", 1975)
* "Come Sail Away" by Styx ("The Grand Illusion", 1977)
* "Alone Again (Naturally)" by Gilbert O'Sullivan ("Himself", 1971)
* "So Far Away" by Carole King ("Tapestry", 1971)
* "The Lines You Amend" (credited "End It Peacefully") by Sloan ("One Chord to Another", 1996)
* "A Dream Goes on Forever" by Todd Rundgren ("Todd", 1974)
* "Ce Matin-là" by Air ("Moon Safari", 1998)
* "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?" by Al Green ("Let's Stay Together", 1972)
* "Everything You've Done Wrong" by Sloan ("One Chord to Another", 1996)
* "The Good in Everyone" by Sloan ("One Chord to Another", 1996)
* "I'm Not in Love" by 10CC ("The Original Soundtrack", 1975)
* "Hello, It's Me" by Todd Rundgren ("Something/Anything?", 1972)
* "Run to Me" by the Bee Gees ("To Whom It May Concern", 1972)

Notes and references

External links

* [http://www.paramountvantage.com/virginsuicides Official movie site]
*
*
* [http://virgin.trivialbeing.net Tribute site with screen caps and interviews]


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