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[personal profile] lakeeffectgirl
There's only one dude in the whole movie and it's Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman bathes him for like ten minutes and then they kill him? SIGN ME UP.

I'm glad I saw it at the cinema, since there are parts that are very dark lighting-wise that I'm sure won't show up well on a television. It also drags a bit at first - lots of long establishing shots of decaying Southern landscapes. There are also a large number of skyline shots where you see smoke rising from somewhere else, as if to convey the war is NEAR, but not so near that they worry a lot about it rolling up the road.

Basic summary: girl finds Colin Farrell in the woods where he's run away from his Union regiment, he's been shot, she helps him back to her school, where Headmistress Nicole Kidman fixes him up and they decide to let him heal a bit before turning him over to the Confederates. He heals, there are some flat characterization choices - as in, this lacks in setting up a lot of stuff, like Elle Fanning's character is just horny, and Kirsten Dunst's character is just capital-T-Trapped, and basically the main characters are all sort of one-word. Anyway! It's never quite established if McBurney is messing with them on purpose or if it's their own tension built up from being stuck together in this school and he's just taking advantage of it, although some interpretations of the title would suggest he's doing it on purpose.

Either way, he convinces Kirsten he loves her (me: "you've known each other for like two weeks!! and you don't even KNOW each other!! Ugh!!") and says he'll come to her room but then he goes to Elle Fanning's room instead - and Kirsten catches them and pushes him down the stairs, breaking his leg where the bullet wound already was. The movie really picks up here, as Nicole Kidman's like "well this looks like it needs to be amputated, get me the anatomy book, Kirsten!" and then he has a complete meltdown when he wakes up (me: "You should have just castrated him for real!") and gets a hold of Nicole's gun, then threatens one of the semi-interchangeable younger girls when she goes to put the flag out on the fence that will tell any passing Confederates that there's an enemy soldier there. There's some Good Kidman Acting as she talks him out of hurting the girl (while he's got the revolver pressed to Nicole's cheek), and then after he threatens them all some more, Kirsten basically yanks him out of that room to go fuck on the floor of his room (does she do it so that Nicole can come up with a plan? does she do it to show McBurney he's still a man? does she just want to get laid? none of this actual motivation is addressed), and Smallest Girl is like, "He really likes mushrooms... maybe Amy could go pick some mushrooms..." HINT HINT, and Nicole sends Amy (the same girl who found him in the beginning) to pick poisonous mushrooms. They poison him at dinner - there's a moment where Kirsten almost takes some of the mushrooms and Amy'd like, "Miss Edwina, you don't like mushrooms," and I don't know if it's a warning that Kirsten then understands OR if she really doesn't like mushrooms, but she's somewhat horrified when McBurney starts choking - but also doesn't actually try to help him, either. It's murky!! They sew him up in a shroud and leave him outside the gate, THE END.

Smallest Girl: "He really likes mushrooms... maybe Amy could go pick some mushrooms..."
Me: *screaming internally* "Yessssssss, Smallest Girl living that Valar Morghulis life!!!!!!!"

Then for like an hour afterwards I felt like I could kill a dude if I had to, which I assume is what Sofia Coppola was aiming for.

(Also if you've seen Cold Mountain it's really hard to stop your brain from filling in parts of that movie as Nicole's character's backstory.)

Criticisms: I have heard that in the book Kirsten's character is of mixed-race and is passing as white, which would have been an interesting addition to the movie but would likely have made it even longer. Had the filmmaking choice been made to do the whole thing from her POV, it could have been hinted at, buuuuuut then KDunst would not have been the most appropriate casting. The lack of POC is explained as all the slaves having run away - seems fair for that time and place, but then say that, Sofia! Don't just be all, "Well, this movie isn't about slavery!" instead, it's not a freaking spoiler to audiences - and it also seems to me like if the one female slave in the book had been left in there would have been some "There's one role for a black actress in this movie and she's a slave" commentary. Making a film about the antebellum South seems like you're damned if you do and damned if you don't, basically. Also, ENOUGH G-D REMAKES.

Overall, I felt more positive than negative about The Beguiled but it certainly had a few problems.

I also went to see Baby Driver with my dad last week.

3) The opening car chase was quite good but I can't say it was all that memorable.
4) Bits that were memorable: Baby being adorable with his foster dad, Doc's (Kevin Spacey) 8-yo nephew being a hilarious crime-boss-in-the-making, the Monsters, Inc. joke, Jon Hamm's death scene.
5) Ansel Elgort is just so bland-looking. I guess it works in this movie, but if he, Alden E., and Miles Teller all disappeared off the face of the earth tomorrow, I wouldn't even notice. (Note: I liked Alden in Hail, Caesar! but I think my point stands.)

I came in to work at 4AM this morning - I got to bed really early, but then woke up around eleven and couldn't fall back asleep, and just laid there watching Midsomer Murders for a while - so I'm really dragging AND there's some fire alarm testing happening so shit keeps beeping, ugh.

There's no Tour de France today so I might just go watch more Midsomer Murders.
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