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Saturday, July 1, 2017

THE BEGUILED


I definitely didn't hate 'The Beguiled', but I certainly wanted to love it a lot more than I did. Written and directed by Sofia Coppola (whose work I like a lot), and based on the novel The Beguiled by Thomas P. Cullinan, it has a cast of actors that I typically enjoy greatly (Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning), so this should have been a sure thing for me. 

It's beautifully shot, and definitely creates a distinctively haunting mood as it examines the themes of seduction, war, loneliness and desire. Coppola won the Palme d'Or award at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival for directing it, and I'm happy that she was so honored. Again, this should have been a sure thing for me. The previews really drew me in and made me look forward to seeing it for several weeks...I don't know...maybe I was just expecting too much.

A film of the same name, also based on Cullinan's book, was released in 1971, and starred Clint Eastwood and Geraldine Page. I haven't seen that one, but apparently the story in that incarnation was told from the perspective of the man (the wounded Union soldier who is taken in by the Confederate women who nurse him back to health), and this new one is supposed to be told from the viewpoint of the women in the house. Perhaps I should see that one (I LOVE Geraldine Page in anything), and then write a more objective review. I don't think that the female perspective here is the problem for me...I'm not sure exactly what it is. 

Didn't hate it. 

Wanted to love it. 

Neutral on recommendation.