The Beguiled

The Beguiled

classified 15

Please note: This was screened in July 2017

Sofia Coppola
Nicole Kidman, Elle Fanning, Kirsten Dunst
94 mins, 2017, USA

Fresh from Cannes, where Sofia Coppola became the second woman ever to win the Best Director Prize, this sizzling slice of Southern Gothic centres on a group of women at an all-girl boarding school who take in a wounded Union soldier on the brink of death.

Set in 1864, three years into the American Civil War, Martha Farnsworth (Nicole Kidman) heads up a seminary for young women. When one of the girls discovers an injured enemy soldier (Colin Farrell), they take him in and nurse him back to health, the students and teachers (among them Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning) are taken with the young man's seductive charms. Slowly and surely, the prim and proper household is taken over with sexual tension and simmering rivalries...

Coppola and the brilliant cast deal with the story with relish, creating a film stuffed with eerie tension and flashes of mischievous humour: in a society of virtually no men, the 'real Southern hospitality' dished out here is of a most unusual kind...