Seems to be a gaping, motivation-shaped hole at the centre of this movie. Why was it made? A perverse (or inept) insistence on not giving the actors enough time to act. 30 added minutes of detail could have perhaps made this Coppola's least offensively bad film. It establishes no circuits of mysterious desire and yet presents itself as a self-evidently mysterious and desire-ridden film. Painfully flat and obvious.
Beau film sur la nature vénéneuse de la sexualité féminine et un éventail délicat des désirs, des peurs et des fantasmes des femmes d'une certaine époque. Ce film met plus à nu la peur fondamentale de l'homme que la réalisatrice exerce depuis le début de son oeuvre, ainsi il peut être assimilé à un cri de petite fille qui crie au loin dans la forêt. Le lieu et le passage du temps sont délicieux. Le film reste limité.
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 great expectations are cheated. Then, KABOOM... a rushed climax kills the magic. Editing and tone go wacky. Suddenly, all seems arbitrary as the film sprints to an injustified ending -- gradually becoming a parody of itself.
2.7 stars. Gauzy and diaphanous (as eagerly expected) but felt irrelevantly a-political and troublingly absent of people of colour watching it in the week that Nazis violently protested the removal of a Confederate statue in Charlottesville. I did, however, enjoy that Kidman played it like a Tennessee Williams play.
The Beguiled has too much damn space. idyllic nature scenes are fine, if they're more than the poetic backdrop of a male/female gaze demonstration film lacking character depth and interaction. Coppola's picture feels like the rough draft of what The Beguiled could have been with more time, better editing and fleshed out characters.
Sofia Coppola is a master of tone. Not a lot happens in this 90 minute film - there are a lot of gorgeous shots of the dusty Virginia scenery - but that makes the things that do happen all the more powerful. I haven't seen a film tackle repressed female sexuality so starkly since I watched Ken Russell's The Devils.
Slightly superior to the original, but the performances are not particularly compelling and there's a sense of artifice permeating the film, as if the actors are deliberately play-acting. Farrell seem neutered even before he enters the house, and Fanning's line readings are especially plodding. I can only guess that this is by design, but the comic effect is difficult to reconcile with Coppola's aesthetic.
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."
Nice to look at, beautifully photographed and some great nuanced performances, and of course Colin Farrell is incredibly gorgeous and amazing in every way, but the film really fails to deliver. There is no tension throughout, the girls still seem two dimensional as characters despite Coppola's intentions and the sexual tension is incredibly tame and laughable at times. Forgettable + dull. Watch for Colin.