Tag Archives: The Beguiled

The Beguiled – Review

Sofia Coppola has been a profoundly talented director since the 90s. From The Virgin Suicides to Lost in Translation, she has crafted a history of timeless movies with depth and emotion. Whilst critically analysing the state of humanity, her works equally tackle repression, secrecy, and loneliness. Her work has been studied for years, crafting a fanbase that relentlessly treat her like a cinema rock star.

Now she is back tackling passions in the Deep South with her Cannes award-winning film The Beguiled. 

Based on a book by Thomas P. Cullinan, The Beguiled revolves around an all-girl boarding school caught in the middle of the Civil War. When a wounded soldier from the North rocks up in their garden, they are reluctant to help him but tend to his wounds anyway. However, his arrival within the house sets off desires and tension reverberate throughout the girls. What will happen when they threaten to boil over?

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The Beguiled has already romped on the big screen in the Clint Eastwood led adaptation of 1971. With hallucinations, dream sequences, and flashbacks, the previous cinematic outing has earned praise and detraction. In Coppola’s production, this is stripped back to the main story, and developed to make it such an intense, and naturally comedic film with stunning performances at the core of it.

Nicole Kidman is a powerhouse of an actress. We should already know this but in The Beguiled, it echoes strongly. Her delivery of outrageous dialogue or subtle hints of her character’s darker interests imbue this film with strength and intrigue. Despite a strong supporting cast here, (and she isn’t even the lead, I suppose,) Nicole Kidman’s work is terrifically astute and equally compelling. Following her are Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning, whose characters are turbulent yet reserved, twisting with their passions whilst keeping up an appearance of reservation. Colin Farrell’s Irish soldier is, indeed, great as always and his ability to turn from flirtatious to raging in a fantastically watchable way.

Lush cinematography fills the screen as Coppola strips artificial light down to its bare bones. The haunted candles filters sumptuous colours in a remarkably colourful yet muted way, making the imagery haunting to look at. With the natural beauty of rural and Southern America, The Beguiled charms much like the ladies do with the Colonel and it is impossible not to obsess over the hues and tones.

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The spiritual cinematic steps before watching these films are as follows: Coppola and Dunst stirring piece on teenage repression and sexuality, The Virgin Suicides;  Kidman’s ferocious and unsettling mother in Stoker; and Elle Fanning’s bewitching youthful darkness in The Neon Demon. There are all components that toil and brew within the compelling The Beguiled and would make a fascinating big screen outing.

Though rare would this quadruple grouping be, certainly the release of The Beguiled is most intriguing this week. The raucous novel is supplemented for brooding themes and stellar acting; an insatiable outing for Coppola.

The Beguiled is out on DVD & Blu-Ray now! 

DirectedByWomen: Class of 2017 – Genesis Cinema

There is a saying; Behind every good man is a great woman.

Sometimes, however, the great woman decides it’s time to step out from the shadow of men and remind us all that men aren’t the only ones who can do things.

It is from this that Genesis Cinema is hosting DirectedByWomen 2017 on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th of November!

Over this two day extravaganza, you will be subjected to some of the greatest films from the past year that were directed by women including such wondrous stories as:

Wonder Woman, Detroit, Certain Women, Raw, Maudie, Their Finest, Lovesong and The Beguiled.

The festival starts from 12:30 on the Saturday with Wonder Woman being introduced by the wonderful, amazing and definitely not holding a gun to my head as I type this Sarah Cook, Editor of  We Make Movies on Weekends and director of The Rogue Table and Toby.

This event is sure to entice plenty of film aficionados, so make sure you book your tickets now!

DirectedByWomen 2017 starts on Saturday November 11th!

Nicole Kidman: 4 Great Performances…and 1 Naff One

Here at We Make Movies on Weekend , we really love Nicole Kidman. Like, really love her. She’s just stellar in everything she does and everything she touches is gold. Even when she is in a bad film (cough, Bewitched, cough,) she still manages to produce a hefty performance. In Sofia Coppola’s The Beguild, she delivers some of the most outstanding moments ever caught on film. OK, yes, I am being hyperbolic, but I stand by it – Nicole Kidman is triumphant.

To celebrate her turn in Boy Erased, which is out today, here’s just a slight look of her filmography.

Honorable Mentions: Moulin Rouge!, and Dogville. Honestly, I feel bad for even cutting some of Nicole Kidman’s performances because she is so good in everything. Make sure you definitely, for sure, check her out in The Beguiled. She is so good.

4 Great…

To Die For (1995)

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Nicole Kidman’s game has been strong since she blew into the scene during the 80s. And while I haven’t included many of her way-back-when efforts, it’ll be remiss of me not to mention her work in To Die For. In cinematic circles, it is the one mentioned the most. The film revolves around a girl longing to be a news anchor and she’ll resort to anything to get there. Directed by GUs Van Sant, this satirical Hollywood thriller is an insasitable delight thanks to Kidman’s acting wiles. Chomping around this fantastic character, Kidman is a delightful black comedy treat. A must see for Kidman fans.

Stoker (2013)

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I am and will be forever flawed by Stoker. Park Chan-wok is a stunning director and imbues this thriller with visual excellence so superb it makes me gasp every time. Stoker is a terrific film about an estranged uncle infiltrating his dead brother’s family after his untimely death. Nicole Kidman plays mother Evelyn who starts of seductive, flirty, and grief-stricken but actually unwinds to be somewhat calculated. You’ll never forget her stark blue eyes as she cuts into her daughter India in a chilling and inescapably brilliant. Perhaps one of her best performances so heinously under-seen, as she tongues sharply the words “Personally, I cannot wait for life to tear you apart,” you’ll feel chills all over.

You know what, I’m just going to show you!

The Hours (2002)

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Nicole Kidman is an Australian but manages to wrap her chops around different accents from American to well, American. But if she isn’t talking the USA yarn or her native Australian, she is garbing off in a very British manner. There are many of the movies, Moulin Rouge and funnily enough, Australia. The most impressive of these roles was her turn as British novelist Virginia Woolf. In an Oscar winning role, Kidman surpasses many with not only a gift for all things British but balancing the genius writer with her battle against mental depression. Underneath the prostetic nose, Kidmans’s performance is poignant, laced with devastation and wicked mind games (from her own illlness,) that would end, ultimately, in her untimely suicide.

The Paperboy (2012)

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Teetering on bright pink heels above the everyone in this perplexing but ultimately brillaint film is and that is Nicole Kidman. A resurgence of indepenent productions, Lee Daniel’s The Paperboy, about two layers imbued in an unusual case showed us that Nicole Kidman is still top of her game. Here, as Charlotte, she is incredibly believable as a forty year old white trash woman who writes to men in prison. Her character is by far the most complex and with an almost Sweet Charity feel to her rocky love life, the film really works when she is on screen. Any other actress may have taken the role and pumped it full of clichés and insanity. Kidman gives Charlotte a life, a story and realness.

Fun and vulnerable, Kidman is simply engaging, impossible not to watch throughout the film. Even (or especially) when she is pissing on Zac Efron.

1 Naff…

Practical Magic (1998)

Practical Magic just can’t seem to decide what it is. Is it a story about family bonds and overcoming obstacles together? Is it about magic and remembering to be true to yourself? Is it about danger? Is it love, true love? The answer is all of it and it is fucking genius and brilliant!

Kidman  is having a blast, although she just hams it up a little too much. A movie like Practical Magic needs that element of disbelief and Kidman flounces around batting her eyelids with her “look at me, look at me, I need help” act causing her character to be more of an irritation than someone you care about. But when you watch it, you are equally bemused by her charm as the men who fawn over her. She is clearly loving life in Practical Magic.

What do you think? 

Cannes 2017: Winners

The sun has set over the sea of Cannes yet the film industry is beaming from yet another successful year at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. With reports of it being one of the greatest festivals this season, we’ve

The biggest news to come from Cannes is that Sophia Coppola is the second woman ever, in 70 years, to win the Best Director award for the much hyped The Beguiled. There’s a whole other article about the stupidity of why Coppola is the second female director to win this, but we’re impressed that she was honoured this weekend.

The coveted Palme d’Or went to Ruben Ostlund’s The Square, a satirical film revolving around an art installation piece and a PR campaign descending into chaos. 120 Beats Per Minute, by Robin Campillo

Diane Kruger won Best Actress and Joaquin Phoenix scooped up Best Actor for Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here. Ramsay tied with Greek director Yorgos Lanthimo’s The Killing of the Sacred Deer for Best Screenplay.

Nicole Kidman, starring in at least three films showcasing at Cannes this year, won the 70th Anniversary Jury Prize and it is richly deserved.

Below is a full list of winners, what did you think?

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Palme d’Or
Ruben Östlund, The Square

Grand Prix
Robin Campillo’s 120 Beats Per Minute

Jury Prize
Andrey Zvyagintsev, Loveless

Camera d’Or
Léonor Sérraille, Montparnasse Bienvenue

Best Director
Sofia Coppola, The Beguiled

Best Screenplay
tie: Lynne Ramsay, You Were Never Really Here and Yorgos Lanthimos, The Killing of Sacred Deer

Best Actress
Diane Kruger, In the Fade

Best Actor
Joaquin Phoenix, You Were Never Really Here

Short Film
Qiu Yang, A Gentle Night

70th Anniversary Jury Prize
Nicole Kidman