After an excellent Blu-ray release, Sofia Coppola's feature film debut The Virgin Suicides earns a new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection. It's beautiful, tragic, and simple in the best of ways, which permanently etched Sofia Coppola's name into the moviemaking business. The new 4K disc is gorgeous and the DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix still sounds amazing and the bonus features are insightful. Well worth the upgrade to 4K - Must-Own!
[Excerpt from our 2018 Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review]
"Some eighteen years later, Sofia Coppola's directorial debut of The Virgin Suicides still packs an emotional punch and is relevant as ever in our current social and political climate. Based on the book of the same name by Jeffrey Eugenides, Coppola stays faithful to the characters and story while adding her own unique and now iconic view on people and family along with all of the awkward stereotypes that go with growing up as a wishful teenager. I do believe this is a timeless tale and film, as a lot of us can relate to all sides of this story, in addition to each character, while still reeling from the mystery surrounding the five female siblings.
The story is told by a voice-over by a grownup narrator as he recalls his time in high school along with his buddies, who all chime in at some point. It's said that these boys, some decades later, are still in shock and coping with what happened during their high school years, which involved the five Lisbon sisters. The Lisbon sisters had two loving parents, however, they were super religious and quite strict, which led the youngest sibling to take her own life. From then, nothing was ever the same as the boys developed a fascination with the reclusive siblings, as they all had long blonde hair, all beautiful, and fun."
Vital Disc Stats: The Ultra HD Blu-ray
The Virgin Suicides commits to a new 4K + Blu-ray set from Criterion. The discs are housed inside a hard, clear plastic case. There is an insert that consists of a Criterion booklet that is fully illustrated, which includes cast and crew information, tech specs, and an essay by Megan Abbott on the film. This comes with Spine #920. The artwork is the same as the Blu-ray release but is just a shade darker and richer this time around. It features the blonde hair and heads of the sisters.
The Virgin Suicides now has a 2160p UHD 4K transfer with HDR, courtesy of Criterion just a few short years after they released it on 1080p HD Blu-ray. According to the Criterion booklet, this is a new digital transfer that was created in 4K Resolution from the original 35mm camera negative. It was supervised by Sofia herself and cinematographer Ed Lachman.
As everyone can see HERE in the Blu-ray review, the video presentation was already fantastic and full of life. Criterion has enhanced this image even more with the upgraded HDR picture, giving the film bolder and richer elements that have more nuanced colors and detail. Watching them side-by-side, it's easy to see the differences in many scenes. This film doesn't have an over-powering primary color palette, but rather a softer more neutral color arena, in which the HDR improves those tinier images. The green and blue tinted sequences now have better shades of each color and the brown and beige-like interiors show more boldness.
The darker sequences give way to better detail in the textures and makeup applications in the movie. The clarity and cleanliness of the image are even more pronounced this time around too, making it extremely pristine and museum quality. The black levels are inky without any issues. Background items and sets look more detailed and the filmic element is intact still. The picture has a slightly darker tone to it, but with that, it brings out more detail and more shades of color that pops. The Blu-ray 1080p version looks amazing, but this 4K with HDR presentation looks even better.
The same audio track is included here on the 4K Disc. This release comes with a DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix, and according to the Criterion booklet, the original track was remastered from the 35mm Dolby SR magnetic track where clicks, thumps, hiss, hum, and crackle were all manually removed. There isn't much to this audio track, in that there are no gunshots or explosions. Instead, this is a very soft-sounding mix.
Highlights are the impressive soundtrack music, which always adds to the emotional tone of the film in the best ways possible. Dialogue is crystal clear and easy to follow, and free of all problems. The bigger sound effects are all robust and full, but never overbearing. From this quiet dialogue-driven movie, this is a great audio presentation.
There are about 102 minutes of bonus material included here, solely on the Blu-ray Disc. Interviews from the 2018 Blu-ray with the cast and crew are included along with behind-the-scenes, trailers, and more.
Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides remains a magnificent piece of filmmaking over twenty years after its theatrical release. The performances and story are all excellent hypnotizing your from scene one, just as the young boys in the movie are when they see the beautiful Lisbon sisters. Criterion has knocked it out of the park yet again with a new 4K with HDR image that is a worthy upgrade. Also included is the same excellent audio presentation along with the same set of bonus features from the 2018 disc. This is a MUST-OWN for sure and worth the upgrade.