Over a lifetime of movie going I have left approximately five films; Sofia Coppola’s 2010 “Somewhere” was one of the few; shamefully I stayed for the entirety of “The Beguiled”, a film so flavorless, dimensionless and hypnotically dull that disbelief outweighed enervation; why did this film not cease to be before dumping it on the unsuspecting public?
The monotony commences in Virginia, 1864; a mercenary, wounded Union soldier, “Corporal John McBurney” (Colin Farrell) is nursed back to health by seven testosterone deprived women, housed in withered glory in a woman’s boarding school; run by matron “Martha” (insipid portrayal by Nicole Kidman) and her second in command “Edwina” (bland Kirsten Dunst, a favorite of Coppola’s); their days comprised of French lessons, sewing and mushroom picking. A “beguiling” masculine presence (Farrell does what he can with a limited script) sets the stage for female competition over the hapless soldier; dressing for dinner scenes, giggling, sophomoric flirting led to viewers laughing incredulously.
Lush cinematography by Philippe Le Sourd surrounds the gated grounds, protecting the frustrated, conniving women.
Predictability ensues and an “unbeguiled” audience exit, knowing with certainty, that they had been royally de-bunked.
ONE & 1/2 STAR