Saturday, July 22, 2017
The Kindest Thing I Can Say About The 2017 "Beguiled" Is It Reaches A New Level Of Screen Awful-Ness For This Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!
From the first time I saw the film's trailer, I knew what Sofia and Company were going for. Either Sofia, or someone on her staff, had seen, and been captivated, by Peter Weir's 1979 melodrama, "Picnic At Hanging Rock." That film was also visually stunning, and featured groups of school girls, dressed impeccably in white, who never got mussed, even while on a bug-filled, woodsy picnic, beneath an Australian mountain.
Here, the white was a visual metaphor for sexual repression, and the mystery of what went down up on that mountain is subject to many interpretations, but I stand by mine. The girls were consumed by their own sexuality. Save for that survivor--or was their more than one?--the vanished girls, literally, devoured one another.
Well, Sofia Coppola has dressed everyone in white for this film, but the end result is like a Vanity Fair photo shoot. Oh, and let us get some important points out of the way, first.
Nicole Kidman no longer has a face to act with. She is Botoxed beyond belief, and the way her character psychologically unravels is, for each progressive scene, her eye make-up becomes more severe. This in contrast to the consummate Geraldine Page, who could chill with just an upturn of her eyebrow. Kidman, from the neck up, is immobile.
Oona Laurence is no Pamelyn Ferdin!!!!!!!!!!!!! As Amy, she is a bit large, anorexic, and, like her costars, is simply Central Casting's idea of what dissipated Southern women should look like. Ferdin's Amy was almost the moral compass of the film, and turned things on its head, with the pivotal death of Henry, the turtle. Here, the scene is just thrown away. And Laurence lacks Ferdin's acting chops!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Actually, much of the story's juices are tossed away. The inexcusable omission of Hattie, the Black character, is matched by Sofia's presumption, and I hate to say she may not be too far off the mark, of the present-day audience's lack of historicity, by having a title explaining, at the start, that the film is set in rural Virginia, three years into the Civil War.
Where was Darleen Carr?????? Probably hiding her face in shame, if she had the tolerance to sit through this mess. You can be proud, Darleen and Pamelyn, of the work you did in what was far better a film.
I had hoped Colin Ferrell, who can be a hottie, would bring some tension to the Clint Eastwood role. Not only was Clint a better actor in the original, he was better looking. Except for an Irish brogue, Ferrell, like Elle Fanning, walks through the film in a fog, apparently having been directed that their only job was to pose nicely, and look pretty for the camera. If the girls are at a Vanity Fair photo shoot, Farrell is at one for either that or GQ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Someone please tell me, when did Kirsten Dunst get so old? I know she is no longer a little girl anymore, but she looked ready to play Katie Nolan in "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn," someone beaten by life, who still rallies, rather than a repressed Southern spinster. Oh, and by the way, Miss Coppola, who gets blamed for the script, too, breaks a cardinal rule of Southern literature--sexually repressed Southern spinsters do NOT find sexual fulfillment. Someone should have referred her to the works of Tennessee Williams, Carson McCullers, or Truman Capote. But does Miss Coppola even care? I doubt it!
Adding insult to injury, she claims to have been drawn to the story by giving the women more empowerment. How, Sofie? By having them pose in tableaux vivantes?????????? Do you even know what that means, dear???????????????????
It took me so long to write this post, because I did not really want to. Now, with the flood gates loose, all the vitriol comes out. Now, how to end it.
The only reason to see this "Beguiled" is to steer one to the original. And to serve as the best example, now extant, of lesser directors remaking movies that were better in the first place.
Beguiled? Simply boring, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!