I am not sure how much of the trailer for Sophia Coppola’s new film is a spoiler or not. I’ve never read Thomas P. Cullinan’s novel, A Painted Devil, nor have I seen the Don Siegel/Clint Eastwood 1971 version of the film. I am guessing the marketing department figures with the existence of other properties, might as well sell the ‘turn’ to get butts in seats. Maybe. Either way, I am always interested in movies set in hermetically sealed boarding schools or orphanages, be in Picnic At Hanging Rock, Cracks, Melody, The Devil’s Backbone or If… And I’m all in with Sophia Coppola as a filmmaker, so when she assembles Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Elle Fanning, Kristen Dunst and others to be in a highly sexualized Civil War pressure cooker, well, it’s a pretty easy sell, spoilers or no.
The Beguiled will be in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Hopefully it will get booed, because, as everyone knows, the films that get booed at Cannes are the ones that end up being pretty amazing. Coppola herself would not be new to the experience, because her own Marie Antoinette (an superb bit of contemporary film-making applied to a period piece) was rejected by the Cannes intelligentsia, but went on to be great, in spite of it.
The story unfolds during the American Civil War, at a Southern girls’ boarding school. Its sheltered young women take in an injured enemy soldier. As they provide refuge and tend to his wounds, the house is taken over with sexual tension and dangerous rivalries./blockquote>