Thursday, November 30, 2017

Movie Review: The Beguiled (2017)

The Beguiled (2017) - Written and Directed by Sofia Coppola; Starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, Oona Laurence, Angourie Rice.

By Kenny Howell

A Civil War soldier arrives at a girl's school where no one ever cracks a window to let some light in, and everyone goes a bit crazy in this adaptation of the Thomas Cullinan novel.

Colin Farrell (The Lobster) plays that Irish mercenary who has been fighting for the Union side. One of the young students finds him wounded on the school property, a run down Virginia mansion. The stern headmistress, played by Nicole Kidman (Big Little Lies), agrees to take him in to see to his wound and nurse him back to health.

However, the introduction of a strapping, handsome soldier to this home of repressed women drives them a bit crazy. He plays into that by flirting with some of them, which leads to them turning against each other. Then things hit the fan.

As with many of Coppola's films, things move at a glacial pace, but I am not sure why it is needed here. It comes off as a bit boring, which is fine if it pays off, but you kind of see where things are headed. And I am not sure why Coppola (The Bling Ring) kept this film so dark. A lot is shot by candlelight, and you can hardly see anything in some scenes. I am sure there is some metaphorical reason, I am just not sure I even care to reach for it.

That being said, as you would imagine, the cast is good, and they probably elevate the source material, which seems a bit trite. Honestly, not sure what Coppola saw in it to even make it in the first place.

Rating: **

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