The Beguiled (M18)
Starring Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Colin Farrell
Directed by Sofia Coppola
Sofia Coppola won Best Director at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for this exquisitely photographed and deliberately paced Civil War piece, starring Colin Farrell as an injured Union soldier taking refuge in Virginia’s Seminary for Young Ladies. There, the handsome guest turns on the charm to seduce his hosts, including Nicole Kidman’s watchful headmistress and Kirsten Dunst’s lovelorn tutor.
The movie’s first half is intriguing as a slow-burning erotic melodrama and a quiet study of lust and repression; the second half, however, is inert, a wannabe home-invasion-cum-revenge thriller that’s afraid to show its teeth. It’s gorgeous to look at, though. (**½)