Movie Review: Sofia Coppola twists the old Clint Eastwood vehicle The Beguiled into arty pulp

Beneath the incessant chirp of crickets, explosions rumble like distant thunder. Somewhere nearby, cannons are firing away. For the girls and the women of Sofia Coppola’s elegantly spare, psychosexual Civil War drama The Beguiled, this daily broadcast from the front lines—muffled by the foliage, accompanying the occasional fingers of smoke reaching skyward above the tree line—is too close and too far for comfort. Hearing it reminds them of the death and danger lurking just out of sight, but also of the intense isolation of life in the foggy, mossy backwoods of wartime Virginia, where the Farnsworth Seminary For Young Ladies sits as quietly as a headstone. It is 1864. The combat rages on. The men have all gone to die. If purgatory has a soundtrack, it’s just the music of a battlefield hell, echoing across nature the way heavy bass bleeds through thin walls.

The hook …

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