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Yes No Maybe So: "The Beguiled"

#vengefulbitches forever

The teaser for Sofia Coppola's remake of The Beguiled (2017) is upon us and it is glorious if surprisingly faithful. In fact, if you watched the original 1971 movie with us during the last season of Hit Me With Your Best Shot you'll be hard pressed to spot many immediate differences beyond of course the new cast. Nicole Kidman takes the Geraldine Page role (we worship Kidman but good luck topping one of Page's juiciest star turns), Colin Farrell gets the Clint Eastwood wounded womanizing soldier part, Kiki steps in for Elizabeth Hartman, and Oona Laurence (who was so good opposite Gyllenhaal in Southpaw) plays the Pamela Ferdin role. 

If you haven't yet seen the trailer or would like to watch it again (I'm on round 5) it's after the jump along with a short "Yes No Maybe So"...

Ready? Let's break it down with our patented Yes No Maybe So system

• the first little girl stroll in the woods
• the "shhhhh"
• Why can't Colin Farrell be under every tree we walk by?
• The mossy shot of the school
• Kirsten Dunst praying

• Nicole Kidman considering taking a peak at Colin's family jewels as she bathes him. Remember when she did that in Far and Away with Tom Cruise? 
• Kiki staring out the window and her "to be taken far away from here" line reading... mysteriously depressed daydreaming Kiki Dunst is the best Kiki Dunst, don't you think?
• All those shots of Nicole Kidman with her schoolchildren - they look so threatening even when they're being polite
• The music once shit goes down (and when we say "shit going down" in this case we mean Colin and the girls getting down) with the insanely great cast shots interspersed with title cards.
• Nicole Kidman looks like she was lifted directly from Cold Mountain!
• More shit going down because of the original shit going down.
• And the coup de grace... 

What have you done to me? You vengeful bitches!!!

• ...yeah, I said yes to every moment in the trailer. What?

• um... er... Why not "RIGHT NOW" instead of "summer"?
• what if Sofia hasn't rethunk it at all? You know what the bitches have done to him if you've seen the original. The original does feel very forward feminist so maybe Coppola didn't have to update? Although it will be weird if it's TOTALLY faithful.
• Oh wait she did change something. She seems to have removed the sole black woman, Hallie (very well played by Mae Mercer in the original) who works for Martha and is suspicious of the soldier in the way the girls aren't. This seems like a very problematic thing to change but we'll see...

• You're joking, right?

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Reader Comments (55)


February 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Coppola's Marie Antoinette has come up several times in recent conversations. I'm shocked at how few gays have seen it...if it were up to me, we'd have queer midnight participation screenings of that film. If Sofia fell into a Tarantino Western rut and only made stylized jukebox biopics of female monarchs, I'd be totally fine.

I don't love Lost in Translation and I can take or leave most of Coppola's other films. But Marie Antoinette is a triumph...probably one of my most dearly beloved movies. In fact, I deeply resent her for not making more movies in that blueprint.

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterHayden

This will be my Carol of 2017. I just know it. Can't wait!

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrad

OH DEAR GOD YES. And such a bold leap for Sofia Coppola while still remaining within her wheelhouse

I'd bet this one is Cannes bound, and should that be the case hopefully the Almodóvar-led jury will recognize both a female filmmaker and the actressexuality and give this the Palme. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

February 8, 2017 | Registered CommenterChris Feil

I will go wherever Sofia Coppola takes me so I'm a definite yes. But if it was anyone else's name in the credits, I would be a definite no.

Some of the photography looks oddly generic (though some of it is legitimately gorgeous)

And I know this will not make me popular but screw it:

It's amazing how even in an isolated 19th century mansion in the Old South, Kidman has noticeably managed to secure access to some very modern 'medical care'

I realise there's a whole hideously exploitative system to blame for forcing actresses to look like that after a certain age.

But whatever the cause, I hate it when they cast someone decidedly 'modern' looking in a period role. It's impossible to take the film seriously.

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commentergoran

I'm excited, I love Marie Antoinette!

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterFarrah

Kidman The Paperboy Kidman Lion same person different Actress,I can't tell.Worship Her.

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMARKGORDONUK

There is simply no "no" here. Nope.

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commentervida

I loved the original. Usually hate remakes not a Kidman or Sofia fan, but like the rest of the cast

Cannot salivate as some of you do!

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMax

Yes dummy! This is fifth nomination territory for Kidman. This will be my first Sofia Coppola theatrical. Having seen her entire filmography at home.

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

It looks absolutely terrible.

Kiki looks really haggard.
And all her line readings sound off.
Her accent sounds off, too.
So does Kidman's.
Colin just keeps his irish accent, like always!
Colin is miscast.
How could anybody be beguiled by him!
The images are not nearly as beguiling as they should be.
Oona Laurence was kind of annoying in Southpaw.
Why would you bother remaking something if you just stay true to the original?
Waste of time and money.
= NO!

YES: Angourie Rice will probably fare best, judging by how great she was in The Nice Guys.

BTW: I love Marie Antoinette - I'm a straight dude. I saw that movie in the cinema 6 times!

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterUlrich

She seems to have removed the sole black woman, Hallie (very well played by Mae Mercer in the original) who works for Martha and is suspicious of the soldier in the way the girls aren't. This seems like a very problematic thing to change

Her aesthetic is white.

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

YES! Take my money now, you glorious badass bitches!

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterV.

YES!!!! It's Sofia Coppola. She puts my ass in the seat!!!!!!!!

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSteven

Of course I'm a yes. Of course.

The removal of Hallie has been the only drawback for me since the film started production, I'm sure it'll become more of a thing as the film inches closer toward a release, but I can't deny the appeal of everything else.

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

I've been fairly lukewarm of Coppola. At her best, she delivers visually stylish mood pieces but I've never fully gotten on her wavelength. Not a fan of the murky cinematography here nor the bombastic music nor the apparent removal of the only non-white character. (Coppola's films are overwhelmingly white. That's not a problem per se but it's worth noting.) And the costumes seem a bit too pristine for the middle of a war.

Based on this trailer, I'm a no.

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterW.J.

This trailer gave me immediate flashbacks to The Others (no one locks a door better than Nic) and Melancholia (my two favorite performances by Kidman and Dunst). This is going to be great! Sofia Coppola with this cast and this marerial? She will deliver, i can feel it!!

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTony T

Wow, that looks like a flashback from my past. The part about being attacked. Nicole is testing the limits of people's patience with plastic surgery. Will she be the Capital star under her President?

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCinna

The original was such an unusual strange beast. Weird in the best way, organically rather than by design I just can see it being improved on. So I'm a no.

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Just one No from me - the story is set in Virginia, but the movie was filmed in Louisiana. LA and VA look absolutely nothing alike. Minor quibbling, I know, and I'm very much looking forward to the film.

February 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

This looks awesome. Summer is way too long to wait.


February 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDerreck.

I'm absolutely 100% yes. I know The Bling Ring had its detractors, but I thought it was very savvy filmmaking. Sofia always delivers. And this cast is A+.

Having not seen the original, maybe someone can comment (but don't reveal spoilers), but could the removal of the sole African American character in the piece be an effort by Coppola to avoid controversy over another stereotypical "maid" role? Was it an exploitative role in the original?

February 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Will make for an interesting triple Kidman-feature next to "Stoker" and "The Others". I'm all for a Kidman night.

February 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTheis

^"Bling Ring" was a disaster on all levels - behind the camera, in front of the camera.
But there's one good bit in the movie, and that's that long-lasting wide shot of one of the break-ins - the one where the camera slowly zooms in and you can see the houses and city in the background, as the gang robs the lit house in the foreground;
that lingering shot is special - the movie is not!

"Somewhere" is not very good either.

Her first 3 movies are masterpieces, though.

February 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterUlrich

Aaron, I was thinking the same thing. Another one of those damned if they do/damned if they don't scenarios where they'd be criticised for only having a performer of colour as a maid, but if they take them out completely... hmmm, we'll see how develops.

Tony, you can tell we're Kidmaniacs because I was going to say the same thing about Nicole locking doors with keys. I think it's because she has thin, long fingers.

I am LOVING this so I am a yes all the way. Elle Fanning looks the least impressive from what we see here, but that's always the case with every movie. I find her a very frustrating performer (note: I haven't seen 20th Century Women so maybe she perks up there). I kinda love that so many "once big deals then box office poison now comebacks" are in this movie. It applies to Colin, Nicole *and* Kiki. Think the cinematography, costumes and production design looks aces. So much puffy sleeves and candelabras!

February 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

The only Sofia movies i really like are The Virgin Suicides and The Bling Ring.

This trailes looks like a great mix of The Virgin Suicides and The Others

February 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterManuel

Nicole Kidman for Lead Actress, Kirsten Dunst for Supporting.

I just really want my darling Kiki to finally be Oscar nominated, for anything!

February 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

I'm hopeful, but skeptical. This is the kind of movie that will either be critically adored or reviled. There's no in between.

February 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

It's Pamelyn Ferdin, not Pamela.
I read the novel. It had an interesting structure. The main characters took turns at narrating the different chapters, but not McBurney (that would be Farrell). So you can percieve the way he was manipulating everyone but never reading it directly from him.

February 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarcos

So much YES I might actually burst.

Although, I feel horrible saying this, but I kind of agree with Nicole's face no longer working for period films. Hey, I'm not making a comment on what she can and can't do to her own face, but, for me, it definitely jars with the period setting.

February 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJB

On one hand I understand the "plastic surgery /= period film sense" idea, but maybe I also just don't think it's anywhere near as bad as others do (I mean, this ain't Mickey Rourke starring in a Napoleon movie). I also think, it's kind of amusing because watching old movies and it's like "Oh, Bette, you are not 21." They used to do a lot of contextually incongruous things.

February 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

What a year. Nicole Kidman is also teaming up with Matthew McConaughey for Embracing the Serpent.

February 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTruth

Maybe so...

Cannes Film Festival opening movie? And se know Howard Almodóvar (Head of the jury) LOVES strong female characters. ;)

February 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJon

Not sure. The original is a masterpiece. What's the point in remaking it?

February 9, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

@glenn dunks

I get that but the problem is that it is set in the Civil War period in the south.....so

February 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterFarrah

I'm still having trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that Nicole is older now than Geraldine Page was back in 1971.

February 9, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterajnrules

All kinds of yes.

February 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMatt St.Clair

Speaking of remakes, LEE DANIELS IS TRYING TO REMAKE TERMS OF ENDEARMENT WITH OPRAH. I could not believe it.

February 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterArlo

I would have preferred a contemporary re-imagining with a multicultural cast, as my feeling typically is do something different if you're going to do something familiar.

February 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

Maybe... it feel like a very creepy twisted fairy tale

February 9, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterjaragon

I would have preferred a contemporary re-imagining with a multicultural cast, as my feeling typically is do something different if you're going to do something familiar.

Contemporary would be wrong for this kind of story. The environment should feel of a bygone era. Where young girls are chased. And the presence of a man excites them. The world will live in today has no such innocence. Although, I resent the whiteness Italian-American filmmakers like Sofia Coppola and Martin Scorsese wallow in, I'd want the inclusion of nonwhite cast to be organic narratively and aesthetically.

February 9, 2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

'Nicole Kidman looks like she was lifted directly from Cold Mountain!'

That is NOT a good thing!

Regardless, this looks just great. I have not seen the original so am curious as to what those crazy bitches do to him!

February 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterANonny


February 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBD

I haven't seen the original, but my main hesitations are 1) the soldier just looks like a playboy who makes foolish choices left and right, which is annoying and 2) the tone was most interesting in the subtle, tense moments before the turn. Once shit hits the fan, it seems like a different movie, like Tarantino suddenly took over the writing duties. So I'll wait for reviews. Like someone else said, Coppola is the main reason I'm giving this a chance.

February 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKJ

@Arlo - Lee Daniels' The Terms of Endearment sounds like a *terrible* idea.

Seriously, the original is unimpeachably great—a stone-cold classic—and my rule of thumb is always to remake a flawed film into something well-realized (if you're foolish enough to try it at all). I mean, did no one see what became of Lifetime's Steel Magnolias redo with Queen Latifah? Love me a queen, but that's just *one* example/cautionary tale to take note.

Anyway, high hopes for The Beguiled!

February 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMareko


February 9, 2017 | Unregistered Commentereduardo

I watched the 1968 Eastwood version last week and was impressed how well it holds up, and how absolutely daring it was. I love Coppola, but I really do not see the sense in remaking such an audacious and magnificently acted film. Geraldine Page is sublime as the cunning head mistress who has a passionate affair with her own brother, and Elizabeth Hartman was achingly sensitive & fragile (she would commit suicide some years later at the age of 43, throwing herself from her apartment window). And, frankly, I don't think Eastwood has ever been better as the wounded, feckless, Yankee who seduces everyone (even an eleven year old) while believing he has one up on all these helpless southern belles. Wrong!

Decidedly, there really is nowhere for Coppola to go that would be more fiendish and shocking than the original.

February 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterIsmael

Are we really thinking Sofia Coppola rounded up Kidman, Dunst, Farrell and Fanning to do a scene by scene remake? what are the real odds of that? Do directors as singular as Coppola really do that? They find a movie they like and convince a bunch of A-listers to re-enact it. I'm having some difficulty with this concept.

February 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTony T

I said this at the time of the casting, but I'll say it again -
they should've cast Michael Fassbender as the soldier.

February 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterUlrich

Ulrich - omg yes. Yes.

February 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

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