The Beguiled, adapted by Sofia Coppola from Thomas Cullinan’s novel is set in a Virginia all girls’ school in 1864. The Civil War’s final battles play out while the Miss Martha Farnsworth Seminary for Young Ladies is insulated from the violence until a wounded Union soldier (Farrell) is found in the nearby woods. As Farrell’s character recovers, however, he begins to have affairs with at least two of the women (Elle Fanning and Dunst) at the school.
In an interview with EW, Coppola said that her take on the film would shift the narrative from the perspective of the wounded soldier to that of the women at the school. “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,” she says. “So for me, it’s very universal, but it’s in this exotic setting of the Southern gentility.”
The Beguiled, Coppola’s first theatrical release since 2013’s The Bling Ring, is due out June 21st.