ByElise Jost, writer at
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Elise Jost

If you're familiar with the universe of , whose varied stories have always involved female heroines and a dreamy sense of glamour, you should be very excited to get a first look at her next feature, an adaptation of the 1966 novel by Thomas Cullinan, A Painted Devil.

The plot of is simple, but the story is packed with intrigue and potential for electric scenes: In 1864, an all-female boarding school in Virginia sees its quiet, lonely routine interrupted when one of them discovers a wounded soldier during the Civil War. His presence brings out sexual tension and jealousy among the school's residents — need we say more?

One Man To Disturb The Ladies: Watch The First Trailer For 'The Beguiled'

"What have you done to me, you vengeful bitches!" I'm already sold.

While plays the wounded soldier, stars as the headmistress. She's joined by Coppola regulars and , as a teacher and a student. The stellar cast alone is reason enough to be intrigued by the movie, but what's most compelling is Coppola's reversal of the rather sexist 1971 adaptation of the same novel, starring Clint Eastwood in the main role.

That version was told from the soldier's perspective, but as Coppola tells Entertainment Weekly, The Beguiled is first and foremost about its female characters:

"The main crux of the story is about the dynamics between a group of women all stuck together, and then also the power shifts between men and women. So for me, it's very universal, but it's in this exotic setting of the Southern gentility."

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Although the movie is set in the mid-1800s, Coppola's take is fresh and modern — add to that her characteristic romantic style, complete with white Southern dresses and distant dreamy gazes, and it looks like The Beguiled strikes the perfect balance between soft femininity and dark impulses.

"It's just trying to create that atmosphere, so you can feel these long, hot days when not much is happening. I liked that [the costumes] had been washed a million times and left out in the sun. It just felt very feminine, almost like they were ghosts left behind."

Probably the kind of ghosts that are up to no good.

Are you looking forward to The Beguiled? Which of Sofia Coppola's movies is your favorite?

(Source: Entertainment Weekly)


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