Sofia Coppola’s new film The Beguiled is a blood-soaked, pie-poisoned remake of Don Siegel’s 1971 film of the same name. It’s originally based off of Thomas P. Cullinan's 1966 novel A Painted Devil, about a Confederate soldier who gets injured and taken in by a school full of virginal, Aryan girls. What begins as a bit of sponge-bathing and recovery fun for John McBurney quickly escalates into Stepford Wife-esque botox stares and heightened tension between the women – all of whom are fighting over this mystery man.
A new trailer for the film was released today ahead of its debut at Cannes in May, and it’s jam-packed with “I told you so’s”. Miss Martha Farnsworth (Nicole Kidman) likes to run her all girl’s school like a tight ship, so when McBurney becomes a fissure in that pristine exterior, she summons all the tools in her employ to destroy him. Watch the trailer first, before we take a deeper dive into this dark western drama.
So we start with this pastoral image of an unsullied Edwina (Kirsten Dunst) in her Sunday best. She’s probably the oldest girl at the school (maybe she flunked her A-levels?). Based on their ages, Edwina would make her the ideal choice for John, the visiting soldier, to bunk with. But is there chemistry?
It doesn’t take long for exchanged glances to wind up in stolen, tongue-down-throat make-out sessions away from the prying eyes of Miss Martha Farnsworth (Nicole Kidman). Why doesn’t this happen IRL?
“Miss Martha, he’s such a sensitive lad!” she says over dinner, which in 19th century speak means that she wants the D.
If you’ve ever seen your boyfriend or girlfriend receive a text from their ex who’s “going to be in town for a few days” and see them hide their phone or discreetly reply, you probably recognize this face that Edwina is making when she sees John McBurney mcburning the sheets with younger, hotter Alicia (played by Elle Fanning). (Side note: not entirely sure if it’s consensual…)
“Didn’t I tell you c*nts this would happen?!” – a classic Miss Martha Farnsworth lesson
This is when they plan their good ol’ poison pie routine, using Edwina’s famous recipe (apple pie with a generous helping of cyanide, for those curious).
“Have you tried the pie?” she asks John, offering up a slice of 19th century revenge pie. Pro tip: If anyone ever asks you if you’ve “tried the pie”, imagine you’re in a movie and the audience is yelling at the screen, “Don’t do it!!!”
“Help! Get me a glass of water!”
Miss Martha, unmoved and unconcerned. Look at all the fucks she gives.
Cut to Miss Martha morphing into Jigsaw from the Saw franchise, asking for the “anatomy kit” with her blood-stained gown.
This trailer doesn’t leave much to the imagination, but we’re very excited for how Coppola will treat this material.