Whimsy, delicacy, and the female perspective all tend to imbue Sofia Coppola’s films with a dream-like atmosphere. From The Virgin Suicides to The Bling Ring, Coppola has been creating films that are decidedly her own, while also allowing performances to shine through settings that are grounded. It’s the 15th anniversary of her film, The Virgin Suicides, and with a number of her films being on my “all time favorites” list, it’s certainly worth taking a look at her filmography in some sort of fashion.
Quick note before I go any further: From experience, I can tell you that The Virgin Suicides is not a good hang-out-with-friends movie. It will make them sad and question your taste in films, and everyone will go home feeling low. It’s a shame, but true.
Sofia Coppola is an auteur without question. She instills a particular subtle, grandiosity to her films that make them tangible while very far away. Her actors are who helped keep them anchored to earth.
Here are the five best performances from her films:
Kirsten Dunst – Marie Antoinette
I understand just how loathsome it is to say something like this in the film community, but I truly believe that many people “missed the point” (so to speak) of Marie Antoinette. I’ve already written about this here, but the film was never supposed to be an accurate, historical retelling. Instead, it was a glimpse into a life of solitude and femininity, like so many other Coppola films. Kirsten Dunst as the leading lady is vulnerable at the beginning, and throughout the film, we watch as she grows into herself, adopting a regal air and a powerful one that showcases why she’d have been so influential. She never loses the wonder, never touches cynicism, and is a captivating lead. She is ultimately the heart of the film, and we have to watch as she goes through unbearably stressful situations all the while keeping her optimism.