This really would have been better if Coppola had made it into a high-production porn film. Instead, the sexual tension builds and builds, deliberately teasing the audience, but all we get are a couple of kissing scenes and then it turns creepy instead of sexy. But the production design, photography & costumes are all first-rate. It turns out to be even more pointless than a porn, but beautiful to look at anyway. 3.6
[Porto/Post/Doc'17] It certainly had way more room to expand into a much longer film but the way it goes straight to the point is also a part of its magic and why I loved it so much. The tenderness of these young girls contrasting with the desire for the unknown is something only a few can capture in such an enticing way.
Perfectly crafted set-up. Cast and crew flow synchronically, organically, as secrets pulsate beyond the surface. But the Devil in disguise doesn't reveal himself. Our expectations are cheated. Then, KABOOM... a clumsy climax kills the magic and all seems arbitrary as the film sprints to an injustified ending -- gradually becoming a parody of itself.
Sofia Coppola's version lacks much of the extra detail and character development you'll find in Don Siegel's original - I suppose that's what you get when you lose fifteen minutes off the runtime - but this is still the most visually sumptuous film I've seen all year, its shadowy palette pitched somewhere between the ethereal beauty of "Picnic at Hanging Rock" and the Southern decay of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre."
The '71 adaptation was much more in spirit with the novel while Coppola's take on the tale removes the more controversial and transgressive elements making the film somewhat neutered in scope. Her scripting puts more emphasis on gender politics which offers some rewards but in the end disappoints. Of note is the cinematography of Philippe Le Sourd and most of the performers save a miscast Colin Farrell.
Exactly what I expected - a competent, dystopian, nuanced depiction of gender dynamics in fraught social climates. It sits closely alongside 'Lady Macbeth' and has Sofia Coppola's directorial craft in cruise control.
"We are girls", the young students of Nicole Kidman's seminary are taught to say in a French lesson early in the film. Indeed, the best moments of Coppola's film are keenly attuned to the reactions, secrets, and self-motivated impulses that girls have when "men" are suddenly a thing. The characterizations are too thin: for this story to transcend, it needed to be richer or more deranged. But it's a dreamy 90 minutes.
Ooh man. Peacock snuff. Coppola's cross-purposes remake (or re-adaptation) of THE BEGUILED will appeal to Žižekian perverts. This is one of those psychosexual delights where the subtexts are giddy-making (this is deeply and complicatedly funny movie, w/ Kirsten Dunst for pathos). Team spirit: ever a truly insidious phenomenon. But the only other Coppola I love is MARIE ANTOINETTE, so maybe don't listen to me.