Sofia Coppola’s The Beguield opposes Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman in a thriller where a cock, seeing himslef like a fox in the henhouse, is eaten by the chicks.
In The Beguield by Sofia Coppola, we find for our greatest happiness the couple Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell after their performance in The Killing of a Sacred Dear. To avoid the horrors of the American Civil War, a wounded Yankee soldier who finds shelter in a boarding school for young girls in the deep South managed by a woman of character, tries to seduce the ladies who care for him. Alas, he who sows trouble among women, reaps evil.
In the midst of the American Civil War, in Virginia, while picking up mushrooms in the woods, Amy (Oona Laurence) finds a wounded Yankee soldier, the Corporal John McBurney (Colin Farrell). Amy brings the wounded man back to the girls’ boarding school where she lives, a traditional mansion in the shade of large hundred-year-old trees festooned with Spanish moss. The Farnsworth Seminary, isolated and for the moment spared by the cannonade that growls in the distance, is managed by Miss Martha (Nicole Kidman), a woman with feminine distinction and a strong character. Miss Martha is helped by Edwina (Kirsten Dunst), a preceptor and a nanny for the girls.
A cock in a poultry house
Although he is an enemy, Mis Martha and her pupils look after the corporal out of christian charity. But maybe not only, as the soldier is a good-looking man… Once recoverd, McBurney proves to be a narcissistic seducer who quickly understands the weaknesses and needs of each of the women. His nice words and compliments are charming them all, young and adults alike: Edwina, Alicia (Elle Fanning), Jane (Angourie Rice), Marie (Addison Rieke) and Emily (Emma Howard). The handsome corporal would like to live – far from the war – in the neglected property where a gardener would do wonder. Alas, his future as a cock in a a poultry house of seductive girls and women makes him go beyond acceptable limits of social convenience – at his expense…
Victory for female solidarity
Sofia Coppola, an Oscars-winning American filmmaker and Golden Lion winner in Venice in 2010 for Somewhere (2010), based the screenplay upon Thomas Cullinan‘s novel (1966). In The Beguield, the director of The Bling Ring, opening of Un Certain Regard in 2013, magnifies her story with natural scenery and a palette of pastel colors, highlighted by a soft light, seemingly filtered by the Spanish moss hanging from the branches of the trees. The gowns are superb in a clarity favoring daylight and candles. The Beguield is a superb and fascinating “in camera” thriller in which a man is stirring up trouble among women, awakening or arousing a so far repressed sensuality. Desire and jealousy create rivalries, but female solidarity will be the strongest.
A film by Sofia Coppola
Color – 1h34
The Beguield Red Carpet in images
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