The retelling of France's iconic but ill-fated queen, Marie Antoinette. From her betrothal and marriage to Louis XVI at 15 to her reign as queen at 19 and to the end of her reign as queen, and ultimately the fall of Versailles.
A man about forty years of age tells the story from when he was a teenager in upscale suburban Detroit of his and three of his friends' fascination with the mysterious and doomed Lisbon sisters. In 1974, the sisters were seventeen year old Therese, sixteen year old Mary, fifteen year old Bonnie, fourteen year old Lux, and thirteen year old Cecilia. Their fascination still remains as they try to piece together the entire story. The sisters were mysteries if only because of having a strict and overprotective upbringing by their father, who taught math at the girls' private co-ed school, and overly devout Catholic mother, who largely dictated the household rules. The story focuses primarily on two incidents and the resulting situations on the girls' lives. The first was an action by Cecilia to deal with her emotions over her life. And the second was the relationship between Lux - the sister who pushed the boundaries of the household rules most overtly in doing what most teenagers want to... Written by
The Air That I Breathe
Written by Mike Hazlewood (as Mike Hazelwood) & Albert Hammond
Performed by The Hollies
Courtesy of Hi Records
Under License from EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets
Published by EMI April Music Inc. for the U.S. & Canada, Rondor Music (London) Ltd. for the Rest of the World See more »
Well-packaged, unobtrusive, tastefully done and... without substance
Sofia Coppola's film is not unlike the music provided by Air for its soundtrack: nice, but a little bit hollow. All in all, I would say I enjoyed this film, just like all in all, I enjoy Air's music when someone puts on one of their CDs during a dinner party (Air is a favourite of many people who have dinner parties that I know). Air's music is immaculately packaged, unobtrusive, tasteful and on the whole, unobjectionable. Coppola's film is exactly the same. Liking Air and liking The Virgin Suicides is, if not a complete, absolute and irrefutable sign of having good taste, at least not a sign of having bad taste, that's for sure. But what exactly was this film about? The meaninglessness, hypocrisy and hollowness of suburbia and "respectable", bourgeois society (a favourite target for many artists). The voyeuristic nature of the media (another popular one). The spontaneity and genuineness of the young (epitomised by Cecilia, the youngest sister in the film), a spontaneity etc which is killed off and sucked dry by the stifling, unwritten rules of respectable, middle-class, white American society. The slow but steady death of nature at the hands of the human race. Yadda yadda. Can I object to any of these themes? No, of course I can't. They're all worthy themes and the film was nowhere near preachy about any of them. Credit to Coppola for that. As I said, this film is very tastefully done. I'm not sure though: The Virgin Suicides could be about some if not all of these things and more besides, yet it remains soft in focus, "airy" (not just in the soundtrack) and somehow, void of substance. Yet I cannot say I wasn't enjoying it as I was watching it, just as I cannot say I haven't enjoyed listening to Air playing in the background at a dinner party. But the enjoyment was never more than skin-deep. And to be honest, though I've been left with nothing negative from this film and the fashionable French band's music, I've also not been left with anything positive either - nothing that lasts, nothing to keep. This is all just... an unobjectionable lack of real substance with a very clever, unobjectionable appearance of substance. All very tastefully done, of course. 5/10
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