With Sofia Coppola long overdue to prove herself cinematically again in the wake of such divisive films as Somewhere and The Bling Ring, the impactful first trailer for her remake of Don Siegel’s The Beguiled, based on the Thomas Cullinan novel, is, to say the least, much appreciated.
Taking her knack for visual sumptuousness to the setting of the Civil War-era South, Coppola brings her singular eye to a story of jealousy, deception and, ultimately female solidarity. With Nicole Kidman in the role of Martha Farnsworth, the headmistress who runs the all-girl school where our wounded soldier, John McBurney (Colin Farrell), is found by one of the students, the die is automatically cast for a bit of creepiness.
In the one minute, thirty-seven second trailer, we’re given a snapshot of just how lusty for John one of the teachers, Edwina (Kirsten Dunst), and one of the students, Alicia (Elle Fanning), are for him. It’s clearly going to cause some problems, especially since he’s not even fighting on the side of the Confederates. “We could show him some real Southern hospitality,” says Alicia. And by the end of the trailer, it’s pretty clear they show him all kinds of that version of the old adage. All in all, the bottom line seems to be that “vengeful bitches” always tend to get that way when a man of Farrell’s aesthetic comes between them