By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
By Claire Lawton
By Kiernan Maletsky
By Anna Merlan
Coppola has a way with actors, pulling knowing performances out of Turner and Woods that make one chuckle at the notion that these two were ever perceived as a sexpot and a tough guy. She also coaxes terrific work out of the five sisters, a tricky feat considering that they're essentially an allegorical presence, representing budding passion and detached beauty. Hartnett is hilarious, seeming for all the world like an extra from Dazed and Confused, his period-specific haircut forming his head into the shape of the penis that guides his actions. Cocooned in a soundtrack heavy on '70s staples (Heart's "Crazy on You" is employed quite literally), plus the atmospheric nuances of the group Air, these actors feel like the real thing.
The work is particularly impressive, given that the director freely admits that she lacks firsthand knowledge of suburban living. She certainly gets the colloquialisms ("Want some more pop?") and the landscape (diseased trees reduced to stumps) on the nose. True, there's nothing new here, and Coppola's cultural appraisal certainly isn't as ballsy and radical as she seems to think, but The Virgin Suicides may stand -- for the collapsed fantasies, libidinous freedom, and cold reprobation of the age -- as a significant document of the daydream. Did our world really look like this? Were those princesses ever really there? The movie wisely leaves us to wonder.
The Hobbit Gets Neither There Nor Back Again
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