This extremely assured directorial debut from Sofia Coppola finds an unexpected perspective on what should by rights be difficult subject matter - teenage suicide. Adapting Jeffrey Eugenides' best-seller, Francis Coppola's daughter tells the story of the Lisbon sisters - five delicious blondes who set teenage hormones raging in Grosse Point, Michigan, some 20-odd years ago. On her second suicide attempt, Cecilia impales herself on the railings outside the house. In the ensuing months, the remaining (older) sisters cast a troubling shadow over the neighbourhood, especially for the boys at school. Kept on a tight leash by their religious parents (Turner and Woods, both cast against type and underplaying effectively), the girls come to represent the intangible mysteries and sorrows of all women. As a rule of thumb, one should approach any movie constructed around a metaphor with caution. Nevertheless, Coppola casts quite a spell. She has a deft sense of composition and a great ear for music (particularly an original ambient score by Air). The tone of wistful regret and longing doesn't preclude a good deal of gentle humour. It's a restrained, subtly suggestive piece which disintegrates if you try to get a fix on it.
Cast and crew