Coppola, Kidman, Fanning and Dunst on “The Beguiled”
The Beguiled, which premiered in Cannes last month earned Golden Globe-winning director Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation, 2004) a Best Director award on the Croisette. That was only the second time the accolade had gone to a woman in the festivals’ 70-year history (the first, in case you’re wondering, was Jane Campion). The film is a remake of the 1971 movie of the same title by Don Siegel, which starred Clint Eastwood and Geraldine Page in the story of a wounded Union soldier who is taken in by the headmistress of a finishing school for girls in Civil-War era Mississippi. Coppola hews to the original story, down to the nefarious consequences of the sexually charged emotions, which fatally build in Miss Martha’s Seminary for Young Ladies in the presence of the unexpected guest, but subtly turns the gaze to the women’s vantage point. The HFPA’s Margaret Gardiner, Alessandra Venezia and Helen Hoehne spoke to Coppola and her main stars about the significance of that subtle shift.