The Beguiled (2017)

I hope you like apple pie…

 The unexpected arrival of a wounded Union soldier at a girl’s school in Virginia during the American civil war leads to jealousy and betrayal.

The Beguiled is the second adaption of the Thomas P. Cullinan novel, The Painted Devil, the first motion picture coming from 1971 helmed by Don Siegel and starring Clint Eastwood. Today comes Sofia Coppola’s version, a beautiful moody atmospheric piece drenched in sexuality and elegance.

Coppola’s elegant thriller is a quiet and slow suspenseful drama, led by an all star cast – Nicole Kidman, who undoubtedly shines the brightest, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning and the always gorgeous Colin Farrell.

This gothic thriller is a wonder for the eyes, the costumes are marvellous and the cast are a spectacle to behold. Overall the film is elegant brilliance, however as soon as the dance of desire leads to terror Coppola fails to keep the tension tight and an unclear third act punch never feels fully conveyed as to whether vengeance was at play or not.

The Beguiled is a stir crazy mix of awakening sexuality, with ensuing flirtation and manipulations that lead to menacing and steamy scenes. Coppola is a woman of style and skill but this atmospheric remake never quite manages to be the pulpy psychodrama it should have been.

7.0 / 10

“There is nothing more frightening than a startled woman with a gun”

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