I am not sure how much of the trailer for Sophia Coppola’s new film, The Beguiled, constitues as spoiler or not. I have never read Thomas P. Cullinan’s novel, "A Painted Devil," nor have I seen the Don Siegel/Clint Eastwood 1971 version of the film.
But I am guessing the marketing department figures with the existence of these other properties, they might as well sell the ‘turn’ to get butts in seats.
Either way, I am always interested in these kinds of stories, the kind set in such self-contained worlds of a boarding school or orphanage -- fine examples include Picnic At Hanging Rock, If…, Cracks, Melody, or The Devil’s Backbone.
Sophia Coppola has assembled a compelling and talented cast including Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Elle Fanning, Kristen Dunst. She offers a highly stylized and sexualized Civil War pressure cooker, as a wounded soldier takes refuge in an all-girls boarding school and bad things happen.
The Beguiled will be in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Hopefully it will get booed, because, as everyone knows, the films that get booed at Cannes are the ones that end up being pretty amazing. Coppola herself would know, because her own Marie Antoinette (an superb bit of contemporary film-making styles applied to a historically themed period piece) was rejected by the Cannes intelligentsia, but went on to be great, in spite of it.