Friday, June 30, 2017

Beguiled [2017]

MPAA (R)  CNS/USCCB () (3 1/2 Stars)  AVClub (B)  Fr. Dennis (3 Stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB () review
Los Angeles Times (J. Chang) review (S. O'Malley) review
AVClub (A.A. Dowd) review

Beguiled [2017] (written for the screen and directed by Sofia Coppola, based on the screenplay by Albert Maltz and Irene Kamp (credited as Grimes Grice) for the 1971 Clint Eastwood starring film by the same name, based on the novel [GR] [WCat] [Amzn] by Thomas Cullinan [wikip] [GR] [WCat] [Amzn] [IMDb]) is billed as this summer's "guilty pleasure" and, if you'd like a lazy but steamy Confederate Era SAH-THERN tale that takes its time to get to an inevitable pot-boiling / corset-ripping climax (of sorts) with a final twist, well ... ;-) ... I've generally enjoyed Sofia Coppola's [1] [2] [3] story-telling ;-).

So then, what's the story about?  Corporal McBurney (played by Colin Farrell), a young just-off-the-boat-in-New-York-harbor-before-he-got-paid-300-dollars-to-join-the-Union-Army Irishman finds himself wounded near but behind enemy lines somewhere in Virginia and in the care of a boarding house (Seminary School) for young Southern women headed by a proper-but-practical perhaps mid-30-something Miss Martha (played wonderfully by Nicole Kidman).  Talk about "The Luck of the Irish," right?

Well ... it's, of course, more complicated than that.  These young women / girls are Southern patriots, of course, with fathers, brothers and beaus "defending the Homeland" in this "War for Southern Independence" / "War of Northern Aggression."  But then Corporal McBurney is ... A MAN, and these young women, for multiple reasons, haven't exactly seen much of "their kind" in recent times.   And then McBurney is not necessarily the typical "Yankee" that they would have expected ... Again, he was barely "off the boat" when "for $300" he was given "a gun and a uniform" and shipped to the front lines to "fight for the North."

Well much winking / flirting, working its way to a slow boil, takes place as several of the young and perhaps at-the-edge-of-no-longer-being-all-that-young women (played by an exemplary cast that includes the above mentioned Nicole Kidman, as well as Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning) plot their strategies of "getting their man."

It is indeed ... one fun movie ;-).

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