Having grown up under the tutelage of her father and directing great, Francis Ford Coppola, it's no surprise that filmmaking and storytelling stream through the bloodlines of Sophia Coppola. Her natural talents earned Sophia capture an Oscar nomination for Directing before her 33rd birthday with the widely-adored Best Picture nominee, Lost in Translation. But since then, Coppola has struggled to return to the same heights she once scaled early in her career. And not much changes with Coppola's new dark and Southern Gothic tale, The Beguiled.
During the Civil War in Virginia, a few remaining women at an All-Girl's school shelter and care for a severely injured Union soldier (Colin Farrell) they find just off their property. And as he slowly progresses in health, sexual tensions begin to overtake the house and lead to a competition for his affection. Yet, all of this attention from the woman turns out to be a curse in the making.
As expected Sophia Coppola continues to shine as a filmmaker, flashing riveting camera work and spectacular vision. She has an attraction to period pieces, where she brings together spectacular set design and exquisite costume design to create a genuine mood to the feature. But despite this strong foundation that supports The Beguiled. the slow-burning drama's somber story fails to deliver a bold-enough conclusion. Coppola's latest is an adapted work, which means this disappointment can't rest squarely on her shoulders. However, a compelling and well-acted build-up, courtesy of noteworthy turns from Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Elle Fanning and Kirsten Dunst, ends up squandered by a timid finale that doesn't do The Beguiled any justice whatsoever.