It’s almost as if Focus Features was waiting until they could tack on the Cannes Film Festival’s coveted Official Selection palm-leaf to release the new trailer for The Beguiled. Hot on the heels of the news that Sofia Coppola’s latest would make its world premiere on the banks of the Croisette, we’re getting our second major look at this adaptation of Thomas Cullinan’s 1966 novel. (Coppola has made it clear that her film will be an entirely different animal than Don Siegel’s 1971 take on the material.) And from the looks of it, things are not going to turn out so hot for Colin Farrell.

He’s in a bit of a tough spot as the male lead of the film, an ailing Civil War-era Union soldier who seeks refuge at a girls’ boarding school in Mississippi. The ladies (an ensemble featuring Kirsten Dunst, Nicole Kidman, and Elle Fanning) take him in and nurse him back to health, but the arrival of such a strapping and manly figure starts to provoke jealousy among the cloistered, virginal girls, and soon those tensions bubble over into terrible — yet, crucially, unseen as of now — violence. The trailer offers brief suggestions of the horrors awaiting him: a bloodstained smock, a call for some choloroform, and of course there’s that horrified bellow of “vengeful bitches” from Farrell.

We commoners stuck in the U.S. will have to wait until June 23 to get a look at what looks like another classic Sofia Coppola joint, with all the feminine repression, muted-color costuming, and unspoken desire that implies. We’ll be keeping a close eye on Cannes for the first reactions.


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