James Milstead’s review published on Letterboxd:
THE BEGUILED (12)
D: Sofia Coppola
Focus Features/American Zoetrope (Sofia Coppola & Youree Henley)
W: Sofia Coppola [based on the novel "A Painted Devil" by Thomas P. Cullinan]
DP: Philippe Le Sourd
Ed: Sarah Flack
PD: Anne Ross
Cos: Stacey Battat
Colin Farrell (Col. John McBurney), Nicole Kidman (Martha Farnsworth), Kirsten Dunst (Edwina Morrow), Elle Fanning (Alicia), Oona Laurence (Amy), Angourie Rice (Jane)
Based on the novel "A Painted Devil" by Thomas P. Cullinan, this is the second film adaptation, following the 1971 film (also called The Beguiled), directed by Don Siegel & starring Clint Eastwood. Unfortunately, I haven't seen that version, so I'm unable to state whether or not I consider this 2017 film an improvement.
The story, set during the American Civil War, sees a wounded Union soldier seek refuge at an all-girls school in the state of Virginia, causing a rift between some of the pupils due to lust, jealousy and betrayal.
I'm not really a fan of Sofia Coppola's filmmaking style, which tends to be quite somnambulant, which worked for the jet-lagged atmosphere of Lost In Translation, but it's a little too slow-burning here.
The performances are fine, and it captures the period well. I just didn't care for the story or the tiresome feminist agenda on display.