Sydney Film Festival
6 June 2018 - 17 June 2018
Fresh from its Cannes Competition berth, Sofia Coppola’s new film is a seductive thriller set in the Civil War era starring Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning.
Employing her distinctive aesthetic and sensual style, with The Beguiled Sofia Coppola adapts Thomas Cullinan’s Civil War-set novel into a tale of desire, jealousy and revenge. The film is set in 1864, three years into the Civil War, at a Southern girls’ boarding school.
In these perilous times, the girls left at the school are those with nowhere else to go, and they are under the care of Martha Farnsworth (Kidman). When one of the younger girls discovers an injured enemy soldier, it is decided that the ‘Christian thing to do’ would be to take him in until he is sufficiently recovered. As the soldier, John McBurney (Farrell), recovers he becomes the subject of fascination for the girls and women of the house. The prim and proper environment is taken over with sexual tension and rivalries. In this society of virtually no men, the ‘real Southern hospitality’ meted out to McBurney is of a quite unusual kind.
Coppola and the excellent cast deal with this material with relish, creating a film filled with eerie tension and flashes of mischievous humour.
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