THE BEGUILED

Cert 15 93mins Stars 4

Take care when you shelter with Colin Farrell in this stifling US civil war drama.

As the wounded Union soldier Corporal John McBurney, he’s offered temporary sanctuary in a Confederacy-supporting ladies seminary.

The actor’s off screen roguish reputation plays on our expectations of his wolfish character.

Nicole Kidman is excellent as a starchy matriarch, and is matched by Coppola regulars Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning. Dressed in virginal white, they are less sheepish than they appear.

Director and writer Sofia Coppola draws on the same novel Clint Eastwood used as the basis for his 1971 western.

She continues her fascination with women isolated from the wider world, and creates another elegant and atmospheric essay on their position in a world of male-created violence.

Beginning in her signature dreamy melancholy fashion, Coppola turns up the heat to create a humid gothic horror which sweats with secrets.

As it boils over into passion and violence, be prepared to be bewitched, bothered and beguiled.

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