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Parents' Guide to

The Beguiled

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Sofia Coppola's Civil War drama is powerful, primal.

Movie R 2017 94 minutes
The Beguiled Poster Image

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Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 1 parent review

age 16+

Tense and taut film of women that are consistently being underestimated

Sofia Coppola has done it again, created a mood and enveloped a period piece that permeates from the film world to the real world. Centering women and their isolation, solitude and their reliance on each other. It does feel that the cinematography takes precedence over the character's motivations. The film is tense, taut and Farrell plays a desperate and manipulative person (shocker). How do women defend themselves from men that underestimate them? Coppola responds, quite well actually.

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Plotwise, director Sofia Coppola doesn't change much from Clint Eastwood's 1971 take on novelist Thomas Cullinan's story, but moodwise, she gives it her own special, dreamy-thoughtful visual style. Her version of The Beguiled excises a black female slave character who was in the original film, as well as some disturbing flashback sequences; it's none the worse for these changes. With the focus squarely on the battle taking place in the movie's present between the sexes in the house, Coppola allows room for poetic subtleties.

She gets to a primal, physical place with her exquisite, commanding use of sound and place. The natural world -- including the light from windows and the crunch of dry leaves -- is all around. (It's no mistake that things of the Earth, a turtle and mushrooms, represent major turning points.) It brings the characters to an organic state in which feelings are stronger than reasoning. Pinned up in their period costumes or laid up in bed, they carry the appearance of civilized humanity, but their wants and desires rule underneath the surface.

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