Culture / Film

Your guide to the best Sofia Coppola movies

sofia coppola movies

Some say the Barrymores are Hollywood's royal family. But I beg to differ. Wherever the Coppola name goes, we follow. But if we're to pick a favourite, it'd have to be Sofia. Across fashion and film, she's carved out her own voice. Her 90s style was inimitable, all X-Girl, Milk Fed, slip dresses and baby plaits. But it's Sofia's films that play on our mind in repeat.

You can tell a Sofia Coppola flick by its specific dreamlike quality. The world slows and everything shimmers. Dialogue isn't necessary when you have longing glances or hazy soundtracks from electronic outfit Air. When TikTok users speak of romanticising your life, it's the aesthetics of a Sofia Coppola film we attempt to emulate. Feminine, introspective and famous for subverting the male gaze, there's a Sofia Coppola movie for every mood, and a different Kirsten Dunst character within them to relate to.

With an adaptation of Priscilla Presley's 1985 bestselling memoir Elvis and Me on the way, we're looking back at the director's film archive. Find the best Sofia Coppola movies, below.

1. The Virgin Suicides (1999)

She was the still point of the turning world, man. The Virgin Suicides is an example of what Coppola does best; translating cult novels like Jeffrey Eugenides' 1993 tragedy, into an ethereal tale with dark undertones. There's a reason girls who grew up watching this film name their daughters Lux. Kirsten Dunst captured our attention. As did the demure 70s night gowns and moody playlist.


2. Lost in Translation (2003)

Some say nothing happens in this film. But I would argue that's not true. Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson lock eyes during a transient period, understanding blooming between them that they're mutually stuck. In any case, if the plot doesn't offer up room for empathy, then the takeaways can instead be found in that candy floss coloured wig and a soundtrack that includes The Jesus and Mary Chain classic, "Just Like Honey".


3. Marie Antoinette (2006)

Sure, this one isn't exactly historically accurate, but Coppola never claimed it would be. Even if there was no sound to Coppola's 2006 film Marie Antoinette, there would still be much for us to feast on. The costumes, the grandiose sets with tables of delicately frosted cakes and pyramids of champagne, and the lineup of Dunst, Rose Byrne, Jamie Dornan and Judy Davis is really quite iconic. The cherry on top? A soundtrack loaded with New Order and Adam and the Ants.


4. Somewhere (2010)

Who better to nail down the monotony of fame than a woman who grew up under the veil of it herself? There are no real consequences for Stephen Dorff's character Johnny, and Coppola doesn't attempt to have them materialise when his daughter Cleo turns up at his Chateau Marmont suite. A rolling stone gathers no moss, puts down no roots, and the saying feels apt here. There is something captivating about the Fanning sisters as children too.


5. The Bling Ring (2013)

Paris, Lindsay, Megan and Miranda – name all the biggest celebrities of the early aughts and chances are The Bling Ring had their homes on their hit list. The seven group members would break into and steal thousands of dollars worth of clothes, jewellery and accessories from celebrities between 2008 to 2009 and, in the case of Rachel Bilson's possessions, would sell them on Venice Beach boardwalk. It's a story that sounds like something straight out of a movie, so it makes sense that Coppola would turn it into one. The Bling Ring stars Emma Watson, Taissa Farmiga and Katie Chang.


6. The Beguiled (2017)

Another book adaptation. Somewhere between southern gothic and Picnic At Hanging Rock, Coppola casts us into Miss Martha Farnsworth’s Seminary for Young Ladies, both island and refuge in Virginia during the American Civil War. When a Yankee soldier ends up at the school injured and in need of care, Nicole Kidman's character offers it with hesitation. Colin Farrell as John McBurney plays his part, entertaining the women and girls, but he soon overstays his welcome. I like how Dunst, Fanning, Kidman, Angourie Rice and Oona Laurence each depict the relationship of women with men from a cross-generational perspective, be it that of child, maid or matron.

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