The Virgin Suicides

Too Feminine, Too Pretty, and the Gendered Bias in the Critique of Sofia Coppola’s Films

Marie Antoinette

When it comes to the critique of Sofia Coppola, her filmic style is too often described along the lines of being too pretty, too feminine, or as style over substance. … Male directors, however, who exhibit the same attention to style and aesthetics, are not held to this same ideal. … There is a double standard in the way prettiness is regarded in cinema. “Pretty” is for female directors, but for male directors, prettiness isn’t ever uttered, and reverence is received in its place.

Sisterhood Week: The Roundup

Check out all of the posts from our Sisterhood Theme Week here.

‘The Virgin Suicides’: Striking Similarities Between the Lisbon and Romanov Sisters

'The Virgin Suicides' | Lisbon and Romanov Sisters

Two sets of sisters, different in circumstance but alike in experience: the four Romanov Grand Duchesses of Russia and the four Lisbon sisters from 1970s Michigan in ‘The Virgin Suicides.’ … Clear links between the two sets can be drawn, but ultimately reveal that in both situations, living in a gilded cage only leaves behind a haunting memory.

The Repercussions of Repressing Teenage Girls in ‘The Virgin Suicides’ and ‘Mustang’


Both are critically acclaimed dramas directed by women documenting the coming-of-age of five teenage sisters under close scrutiny for their behavior — especially when it comes to their sexuality. And in both films, the girls’ response to this repression is to resort to desperate measures to regain control, resulting in tragedy that could have been averted if they were given the freedom for which they hungered.

Call For Writers: Sisterhood


Despite what the multitude of Bechdel-test-failing media would have us believe, relationships among women can be complex and about much, much more than men. The sibling relationships of sisters, in fact, can be particularly rich, nuanced, and worth contemplation. Sibling rivalry, as it appears in ‘A League of Their Own’ and ‘Sixteen Candles,’ examines competition for recognition, birth order conflict, and self-doubt when faced with perceptions of sibling superiority.

Women Directors Week: The Roundup

Women Directors Week The Roundup

Check out all of the posts from our Women Directors Theme Week here.

Sofia Coppola and The Silent Woman

Lost in Translation

Many films touch upon the theme of female isolation, but I remain fascinated with Sofia Coppola’s three major cinematic creations that explore the world of The Silent Woman: ‘The Virgin Suicides,’ ‘Lost in Translation,’ and ‘Marie Antoinette (2006).’ Each film delves into this enigma, forming a multifaceted frame of reference for a shared understanding.

Director Spotlight: Sofia Coppola

Sofia Coppola with her Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Lost in Translation Sofia Coppola is one of only four women ever nominated for a Best Director Academy Award, and was the first woman from the United States to achieve the honor. Her nomination was for Lost in Translation, for which she won the Oscar […]