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The Beguiled

Colin Farrell plays John McBurney, a Union solder who is injured and discovered by one of the girls belonging to girls boarding school deep in Confederate country. Martha Farnsworth (Nicole Kidman), the director, agrees to hide and care for McBurney only as long as is needed for his wounds to heal. A love / desire triangle evolves between McBurney, Farnsworth, Carol (Elle Fanning) and Edwina (Kirsten Dunst). The film explores the implications of desire on McBurney and the women involved. The film is impeccably directed (Sophia Coppola won the Best Director award at Cannes, and one can see why); there is a slow and sure pace to the film. The cast is excellent. The story itself is not terribly compelling. There is a predictability that gets in the way of really getting absorbed into the story. The story also lacks depth or any kind of intrigue. I was also never sure why any of the women fell for McBurney, given the limited depth of character development. The film gets a thumbs-up for its technical aspects, even if the story is less interesting than it could be.

About Gary Burkholder

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