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Thursday, December 03, 2020

The Sofia Coppola watchlist: Lost in Translation, The Virgin Suicides and others

Ahead of On the Rocks' premiere on Apple TV+, watch these noteworthy films by writer-director Sofia Coppola.

Written by Anvita Singh | New Delhi | Updated: October 21, 2020 6:03:32 pm
sofia coppola(From left) Stills from Lost in Translation and The Virgin Suicides (Photo: Focus Features,

As director Sofia Coppola’s next On the Rocks is ready to hit Apple TV+ on October 23, we thought it’s only fair to revisit some of the filmmaker’s earlier works. For those of you not familiar with Sofia’s short but impressive filmography, this listicle will point you in the right direction.

The Virgin Suicides

Sofia Coppola wrote, directed and released this American teen drama about troubled youth and society in 1999. The Virgin Suicides was a film that dealt with the issue of mental health, parenting, forced isolation and threw light on how the modern-day society perceived American youth. It featured Kirsten Dunst, Josh Hartnett, James Woods, Kathleen Turner in pivotal roles. The movie drew a lot of critical acclaim upon its release.

Lost in Translation

Easily her best work, Lost in Translation is essentially a romantic comedy, glittering with tinges of melancholia. A feeling that both its lead characters are suffering from — Bill Murray’s Bob Harris and Scarlett Johansson’s Charlotte. While Bob is a fading movie star, Charlotte is a college graduate. They cross paths in Tokyo and an unlikely relationship begins. The movie is still remembered fondly for its smart script, stellar lead performances and novel manner of storytelling.


A different take on the Hollywood lifestyle, Somewhere featured Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning in the lead roles. Released in 2010, the film focused on the kind of emotional emptiness a successful actor feels. In the movie, Dorff plays the star while Fanning essays the role of his daughter. Once Cleo (Fanning) fully enters Johnny’s (Dorff) life, he begins to take on more responsibility. Somewhere is a whimsical, somewhat slow but sensitive movie.

Marie Antoinette

This Kirsten Dunst-starrer had critics up in arms. They just couldn’t settle on one opinion about the film, whether they liked it or not. But that is perhaps the most interesting thing about this period drama of the beheaded French queen. What it lacked in character development, it made up with style and charisma. Definitely worth a watch, especially for its approach to a historical drama.

The Beguiled

The 2017 movie is slow and suffers from some structural faults. However, it does evoke thrill. There’s a dark, quiet longing about it that keeps you hooked. A Civil War drama about a deserted soldier who takes shelter in an all-female boarding school, The Beguiled works because of its smart direction and captivating performances. It has Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning in significant parts.

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