The Beguiled opened at the Cannes Film Festival recently. The movie is an adaptation of the out-of-print 1966 novel by Thomas Cullinan and the second time this book has made it to the big screen. Clint Eastwood headed the original 1971 version.
The synopsis for The Beguiled is below.
“At a girls’ school in Virginia during the Civil War, where the young women have been sheltered from the outside world, a wounded Union soldier is taken in. Soon, the house is taken over with sexual tension, rivalries, and an unexpected turn of events.”
Colin Farrell plays Corporal John McBurney in The Beguiled, the man who is wounded and ends up at the girls’ school. According to the Guardian‘s review of The Beguiled, Farrell’s character is taken in after he is found, near death, by 11-year-old Miss Amy (Oona Laurence). Once under the care of the womenfolk, he is literally the only male under the roof, leading to all sorts of moments fraught with sexual tension. At one point, Nicole Kidman is tasked with bathing Colin Farrell’s character, something Kidman joked about.
“It wasn’t as comprehensive as you might have thought,” Farrell admits. “She missed a few spots.”
However, considering Farrell was on a set that was overrun by women, it didn’t phase him at all.
“I grew up in my life with three brilliant and strong women in my life, my mother and my sisters,” he revealed during the press conference in Cannes.
For The Beguiled‘s director, Sofia Coppola, while she is not a fan of remakes, this movie was one that stayed in her mind, leading her to delve into the story from the female’s perspective in her new adaptation.
“The idea of remaking doesn’t make sense to me. This [story] stayed in my mind. And then I thought it would be interesting to tell the same premise from the point of view of the women characters.”
And it is this slant that appears to be working for The Beguiled. The film is certainly gathering momentum among audiences for its female-orientated cast and crew. As The Hollywood Reporter points out, at Cannes, the line-up for The Beguiled included six women and only two men (Colin Farrell and The Beguiled producer Youree Henley).
The male-orientated slant in Hollywood and the movie industry is something Nicole Kidman (who plays headmistress Martha Farnsworth) is trying to change.
“Still only about four percent of women directed the major motion pictures of 2016. That there says it all. I think that’s an important thing to say and keep saying. Luckily we had Jane Campion and Sofia here. We as women have to support female directors, that’s a given now. Everyone is saying it’s so different now — but it isn’t. Listen to the statistics.”
Kirsten Dunst has been cast as Edwina Dabney, a subordinate to Nicole Kidman’s character. But, it is a character Dunst prefers to play.
“I didn’t want to be a romantic lead,” Dunst told Variety when asked about her career choices to date.
Shot on location in Louisiana, The Beguiled only took 26 days to shoot according to Variety. Fans of Beyonce’s “Lemonade” will recognize the location for the video clip for that song.
The movie, an indie backed by Focus Features, was produced on a tight budget. As a result of this, the entire crew of The Beguiled stayed at a local Hampton Inn while filming, in order to cut costs.
Are you looking forward to seeing The Beguiled? Let us know by commenting below.
The Beguiled stars Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, and Colin Farrell. It is scheduled for release in U.S. theaters on June 23 according to Screen Daily.
[Featured Image by Focus Features]