Nicole Kidman broke her own record this year and represented not one but FOUR films this year. For us it means four photo calls and four premieres, as to her fans – their faces couldn’t be happier while queuing for the autographs. The last film she presented at the festival is The Beguiled – World Premiere, starring Elle Fanning, Colin Farrell, and the cute Angourie Rice – actor, not a dish! – we saw at last year’s Cannes premiere of The Nice Guys. Director Sofia Coppola presented her first feature which generated a lot of buzz among ‘diversity champions’ -whatever that means- and ‘women’s rights’ activists’.
In her adaptation of Thomas Cullinan’s Civil War-set 1961 novel — on which a 1971 Don Siegel film, starring Clint Eastwood, was also based — Coppola puts more humour and, according to the critics, she’s done it pretty well: At a girls’ school in Virginia during the Civil War, where the young women have been sheltered from the outside world, a wounded Union soldier is taken in. Soon, the house is taken over by sexual tension, rivalries, and an unexpected turn of events.
The Vox film review reads: “In The Beguiled, women are frustrated at being left to flap in the wind like a lacy frock on a clothesline, while the boys go out to fight the real war. But society requires them to remain civilized, embroidering in the drawing room to the sound of booming cannon fire on the battlefield beyond the seminary’s gates. They’re reduced to praying for the soldiers, hiding their cow so nobody steals it, and trying to keep away from the gaze of the men who march by, lest they be tempted.
Years of that kind of thing can make you crazy, or it can be a clarifying force. In The Beguiled, much of the fun (and suspense) comes from trying to guess which is this case.”
Photography by Joe Alvarez