I think after THE BEGUILED, I’m officially considering writer/director Sofia Coppola a one-hit wonder. And this isn’t even the hit, that would belong to Lost in Translation. The Beguiled is almost everything bad I could say about a film at this moment. Pacing is bad, original (that’s right, it’s a remake) is much better, editing is choppy, acting is ho-hum, character development was awful, direction was one-note, none of the feelings were believable, characters made weird decisions too quickly and it was an absolute snooze fest. Gee Zach, tell me what you really thought about it? Well, I just did, but I guess I could go into some more detail…
The only thing that was good about this film was the dreary mood and the cinematography. It was a pretty looking film. That’s about all the praise you’ll hear from me. Sofia Coppola has directed a bunch of stinkers. I can’t stand Somewhere, The Virgin Suicides, The Bling Ring, and Marie Antoinette. I don’t know why I love Lost In Translation so much. Maybe I need to watch it again to find out if the film still holds up. Sofia Coppola was known for her terrible acting as Corleone’s daughter in Godfather Part III, but I also think she is a terrible writer. Not so much director as she is not bad at all at some camera work, but her screenplays are absolutely dreadful, weird, and just plain Jane.
I mean, I’ve seen the original with Clint Eastwood, and I guess they remade it to make it seem more dreary and dreadful, because while the actions of the characters make sense in the original, they don’t make sense here at all. In fact, I think this movie could’ve been BETTER with about 30 minutes added onto it (it’s only 90) with some more character development. For instance, Colin Farrell talks to Kirsten Dunst’s character ONCE and stares at her in a couple of scenes, he says “I love you,” to her in the next scene, and then is trying to get in Elle Fannings pants less than a minute later. Makes absolutely zero sense. The film only starts to pick up once Colin Farrell re breaks his leg, but the film only has 20 minutes left. The ending is the same as it was in the original, but here it feels less earned.
Farrell is nice one minute and awful the next with no subtext. Even Nicole Kidman’s character, who is icy to him the entire time at one point almost kisses him. There was absolutely no basis for any of the characters actions. No motive. It was complete drivel. Did Sofia Coppola actually watch the original film or did she just skip through it and go, “I think I’ll just make it more dreary and with less substance, that’ll make a good film!”
How Sofia Coppola won the Palme D’or at the Cannes Film Festival for this is beyond me. I’m puzzled unless the other films weren’t that great as well or if the judges were in a weird mood. Just like The Bling Ring, Somewhere, and Marie Antoinette, this is going to be on my worst list at the end of the year. Sofia Coppola needs to direct from someone else’s script, because she needs to quit writing.