Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled is making its world premiere as a competition entry at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival and the first press screening for the film has taken place. And as early reactions are starting to pour out, the response – at least thus far – appears all over the map. Some critics in attendance have already proclaimed the period western which stars Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst (who earned several early MVP honors), Elle Fanning and Colin Farrell a “masterpiece” while others have expressed disappointment.
While may just be par for the course when dealing with the idiosyncratic Coppola, who won an Oscar for penning the script to her Lost in Translation (2003), still perhaps the filmmaker’s most accessible film. Between The Virgin Suicides, Marie Antoinette, Somewhere and The Bling Ring, Coppola has developed a résumé that has both entranced and distanced cinephiles. Her latest “is a thriller from acclaimed writer/director Sofia Coppola. The story unfolds during the Civil War, at a Southern girls’ boarding school. Its sheltered young women take in an injured enemy soldier. As they provide refuge and tend to his wounds, the house is taken over with sexual tension and dangerous rivalries, and taboos are broken in an unexpected turn of events.”
The film finds its roots in the novel by Thomas Cullinan and was previously adapted to the screen by Don Siegel in the 1971 version which starred Clint Eastwood, Geraldine Page and Elizabeth Hartman.
Some early quick takes below.
Not sure what it says about me but I wish Sofia Coppola’s “The Beguiled” was a lot more lurid #Cannes2017. Kidman’s fun though.
— Brent Lang (@BrentALang) May 24, 2017
Wasn’t too thrilled with the Beguiled. Very pretty, but if you want kick ass feminist women in the Civil War watch The Keeping Room — Melissa Silverstein (@melsil) May 24, 2017
— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) May 24, 2017
Sofia Coppola transforms The Beguiled from eager, lurid romp to witheringly elegant fuckboy takedown. Loved it. #Cannes70
— Robbie Collin (@robbiereviews) May 24, 2017
THE BEGUILED may disappoint those expecting something bigger or more pronounced, but it’s pretty damn terrific.
— Bilge Ebiri (@BilgeEbiri) May 24, 2017
THE BEGUILED: A Cannes rarity – a film I wish were longer. Close to impeccable as is, though: a flesh wound sewn up with fine lilac thread. — Guy Lodge (@GuyLodge) May 24, 2017
Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled is a straight-up masterpiece. #Cannes70
— David Jenkins (@daveyjenkins) May 24, 2017
THE BEGUILED is I suspect what happens when you say “Siri, make me a perfect movie” #Cannes2017
— Alissa Wilkinson (@alissamarie) May 24, 2017
The film will hit theaters this summer, courtesy of Focus Features. Ahead of its June 23rd release date, The Beguiled will play the upcoming Los Angeles Film Festival as a part of a 15th Anniversary celebration for Focus Features. Coppola is expected to be on hand for a Q&A accompanying the screening. Other films playing the festival in celebrations of Focus’ anniversary will include Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right and Coppola’s very own Lost in Translation.