The Beguiled (2017)
Critic Consensus: The Beguiled adds just enough extra depth to its source material to set itself apart, and director Sofia Coppola's restrained touch is enlivened by strong performances from the cast.
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Critic Reviews for The Beguiled
An interesting choice for Coppola. Her sixth feature film is a feminist take on some fairly sexist and exploitative material.
The general view seems to be that civilization might survive and even flourish if men weren't around to wreck it with their making of love and war, but where's the fun in that?
The Beguiled is better directed than it is written... In its study of interpersonal rivalry and sexual tension, the film doesn't say anything that wasn't better articulated in Don Siegel's 1971 adaptation.
The Beguiled is Coppola's bloodiest, most visceral movie to date, and it is also one of her best.
Fanning, Dunst and the on-a-roll Kidman all seem ready to dive in, but "The Beguiled" stops them short. There's plenty of cunning boiling beneath the surface, but Coppola keeps a tight lid on it.
The actors pitch their roles perfectly: Kidman's breathy calm; Farrell's charm, just hinting at something dark within it; Fanning's way of prettily arranging herself, showing off Alice's newfound power; Dunst's quiet melancholy.
Audience Reviews for The Beguiled
A well acted Civil War drama, but one that perhaps would have played better on the stage of a theatre than the screen of a cinema.
Sofia Coppola gives this reboot a woman's touch in that extra emphasis is given to how the women, after taking in a wounded soldier, all convey in their own ways their desire for desire. Dirty Southern faded opulence at its dirty Southern faded best. All the cast is up to the game as well. This is a pretty damn good retool of the first outing.
Sofia Coppola reworks "The Beguiled" into a densely atmospheric slow-burn; a Southern-Gothic mood piece of expertly ratcheted tension and an absolutely wondrous, ominous sense of place. The technical side of this film is brilliant and is among Coppola's most accomplished works to date. Equally accomplished is the performances which are uniformly excellent. Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, and Kirsten Dunst shine alongside a wealth of young performers delivering work well beyond their years. I appreciate how well "The Beguiled" functions as a sort of multifaceted entertainment. I think it fully succeeds as a surface-level yarn (albeit one with an ending that can be met with mutters of "what was the point," which is exactly what happened at my screening) but can also be viewed and interpreted in a myriad ways. Whether you absorb Coppola's film as a feminist allegory, anti-feminist allegory, or any other, it never feels condescending or comes off as anything less than authentic. "The Beguiled" is one of the best films of the year.
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