Sofia Coppola and How Male Obsession Amplifies Female Pain in The Virgin Suicides: A Review

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Sofia Coppola’s directorial debut The Virgin Suicides is a teen film with a dreamlike quality that is so rare for the genre, but it is within this quality alone where you have a directorial debut so fully realized it’s difficult to even believe that it was a first feature. Though to talk about what it is that this movie manages to accomplish as a teen drama, everything starts from the way in which it is structured – for it plays out like a fantasy in order to emphasize one’s perspective that understands circumstances like a mystery. In telling the story of the suicides of the Lisbon sisters, who have been loved by a group of teenage boys for obvious reasons, there is yet another dimension to this story that only a director like Sofia Coppola can bring to the table that would also make this one of the best teen films of the 90’s, let alone ever. As Sofia Coppola frames this as a story about teenage obsessions and how they affect the way we grow, what she also shows us in The Virgin Suicides is a darker side of growing up that is so often misunderstood by the images that have been set inside one’s head.

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Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette Lives in the Glamour to the Fullest

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Sofia Coppola’s body of work has always remained intriguing even when she isn’t exactly the most consistent filmmaker. It’s hard enough to imagine how she can follow up a film as beautiful as Lost in Translation but there was always the certain fear that after having directed her best film she would turn out another effort that proves itself hugely underwhelming and with Marie Antoinette comes the film that consensus has agreed upon as their worst effort to date but I also think it also makes a great case as to why her work is so intriguing. Given what would be expected of a period piece, especially one about the ill-fated Queen of France, it seems only fitting that Sofia Coppola took this outline and directed a film that details her life the way that one would only be able to imagine it must have been from her very own eyes, rather than one that sticks to tradition.

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The Bling Ring – Review

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Sofia Coppola has always been an interesting if inconsistent filmmaker. Following up 2011’s Somewhere, Coppola offers her own perspective of the American dream – and its effect on youth. For as much as this could easily have led to one of her most interesting films, it only satisfies on one end and the other it only falls dreadfully flat. When The Bling Ring is at its most intriguing it offers a biting satire regarding how celebrity culture has affected the youth but at its worst it also feels rather incomplete. It doesn’t help that within the same year, Harmony Korine had tackled similar subject matter via the brilliant Spring Breakers and right next to such, The Bling Ring feels far more underwhelming.

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The Beguiled (2017) – Review

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Unlike many other people who’ve also seen the original film directed by Don Siegel I’m not going to spend so much of the review drawing comparisons between said film and this new version as told by Sofia Coppola considering how they’re telling the same story with completely different intentions behind them. It’s easy to admire how Sofia Coppola drastically changes the pace of her own works so that she can set herself out to be a harder filmmaker to pinpoint stylistically, but this isn’t the first time she’s made a period piece – although there’s a certain playfulness that can be detected from her own experiments that allows her to remain distinctive. And although I haven’t consistently loved her work (Lost in Translation still remains the pinnacle of her own directorial efforts to myself), it was easy enough for me to recognize she’s a talented filmmaker to keep my eyes peeled for.

 

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Lost in Translation – Review

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I think it goes without saying that Lost in Translation is easily Sofia Coppola’s best film as a director, but looking back upon why it gets the reputation as such is easy: for at only two films it still remains her most fully realized work to date. That’s not to say personal bias from great connection has also allowed itself to become a factor but there’s something about how Sofia Coppola presents this story that only calls upon great connection from my own end because the first memories I had of watching Lost in Translation are not fairly distant regarding where I’ve headed in life at this moment. I’ve started out a fairly lonely person without any sense of connection in the world and even though I’ve taken comfort in social media it brings back a specific melancholy that hit me when I watch Lost in Translation.

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Somewhere – Review

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At times I feel bad I don’t enjoy Sofia Coppola as much as I wish because I find it rather easy to recognize the sort of energy she puts into her work because talent is oozing on every frame, but at the same time some of her films are a struggle for me to find complete investment in. While the notable exception of Lost in Translation stands out as her strongest film (considering the fact that it also happens to be one of my own all-time favourite films), the closest that she has ever managed to come to topping what she presented in said film is within 2011’s Somewhere. But I look at how Sofia Coppola handles similar subject matter and it all makes sense on the spot, but maybe it could be in her approach to these topics where I find her at some of her most fascinating.

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