Three years into the American Civil War, in 1864, the dilapidated mansion of Miss Martha Farnsworth's Seminary for Young Ladies is still running, occupied by the matriarch, a teacher and five students in Spanish moss-draped Virginia. However, when a young student stumbles upon Corporal John McBurney, a wounded Union deserter on the verge of death, the already frail balance of things will be disrupted, as the hesitant headmistress decides to take him in to heal from his injury. Little by little, as the unwelcome guest arouses an uneasy sexual excitation among the women of the secluded boarding school, it is not before long that they will find themselves competing for the alluring man's favour. Undoubtedly, this handsome devil is a manipulator, nevertheless, will the ladies stay forever beguiled by his charm?Written by
The cast went through several lessons during filming. They had a sewing teacher, a dancing teacher, took etiquette classes, corset training lessons and had to cook and eat meals together. A Civil War reenactor demonstrated how to dress wounds, and a priest explained prayers from the Book of Matthew and Sofia Coppola distributed an antebellum etiquette book, titled "How to Be a Good Southern Lady". See more »
During the first dining scene, three out of four students hold their fork with their right hand. It is highly unlikely they would have not been taught that proper table manners demand you hold your fork with your left hand, as it is done by the two adult teachers. See more »
My being familiar with the original 1971 Clint Eastwood version of this movie, I see that Sophia Coppola stripped away all the rich character development and backstory of Ms Farnsworth's incestuous relationship with her brother as well as the flashbacks that revealed the true conniving nature of John McBurney and the sexual fantasy aspect of these characters which was the basis for their motivation in the story. Miss Coppola seemed to sacrifice all this for the sake of making a film that appear to focus on nothing more than a fancy woman's dress party, as if they were all attending a gala ball every day, as well as some obsession of including trees with Spanish moss in almost every scene filmed at almost every angle with the camera being held on them for an usually prolonged period. The result of which made this film nothing more than a boring shallow one dimensional film and was seemingly made by her for the sake of creating nothing more than a moving piece of art to show female regal apparel and Spanish moss trees.
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