THE BEGUILED – Opened July 13.
DIRECTED BY: Sophia Coppola (Lost in Translation)
CAST: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, (Hidden Figures, Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind, Spiderman series), Elle Fanning (20th Century Women, The Neon Demon) Angourie Rice (AUSSIE ALERT! Jasper Jones).

Based on the novel A Painted Devil by Thomas Cullinan

Classified M

Running time 94min

During the American Civil War, an injured Union solder finds refuge in an all-female boarding school.

The school is run by Miss Farnsworth played by Nicole Kidman. Most of the staff and students have left and the slaves have run away, leaving those remaining to fend for themselves as they hear bombing and warfare from the nearby battlefields and fearful of the presence of the enemy in their own midst.

However, as their unwelcome visitor’s health improves and his charming personality begins emerge, these women of all ages start to warm to his presence. Some see him as a brother and others in a sexual light.

This brings out rivalries between the girls and a game of one-up-manship over apple pie as they award their guest the highest honour, a grand dinner.

As the time comes closer for the soldier to leave, he declares his love for one of the girls. This culminates with a misunderstanding and leaves the soldier with a horrifically broken leg.

Ever practical, Miss Farnsworth decides the only way to save him is to amputate the leg leaving him furious and dangerous. Once again, the women must decide to work together to free themselves from this threat.

Blackly comical in parts. Sofia Coppola won best director for this film at the recent Cannes Film Festival. An original film was made in 1971 directed by Don Siegel and starring Clint Eastwood.

The Beguiled also stars young Perth actress Angourie Rice as Jane.

RATING: 3 out of 5
REVIEWER: Suzanne Worner